The recent axing of the head of the Independent Power Producer’s office Karen Breytenbach, once celebrated as the champion for Renewable Energy in South Africa, will not only be a major setback to South Africa’s renewable energy programme, but will also send the wrong signals to potential investors and – once again – shows the care-free atmosphere in which the enemies of the state operate.
Breytenbach – who said she was given no reason by the Development Bank of SA or the Department of Energy as to why she had to leave before the end of her contract – had spearheaded the team that had built up the IPP office into a world renowned unit, drawing investment of over ZAR 200bn in renewable energy projects since 2011. She is now punished for having been successful, a foreign concept to any member of government or ANC in parliament.
The assumption by some that the move is because DBSA wants to get rid of the IPP office to create a much bigger entity to handle public-private partnerships (PPAs) across a number of infrastructure sectors is only a smokescreen, behind which the corrupt officials of the DBSA hide. The main agenda if the current government is to destabilise the country to a degree that free reign will not be envied or challenged anymore. One of the milestones of the energy is to boycott any steps toward stable energy in the country and in this context to dilute the focus on renewables.
The recent step further opens the way for “corrupt individuals” to milk the programme. All independent power producers’ who close deals with the government have to give 1% of the cost of their power projects to the government. This pot of money was supposed to fund the IPP office, but will now be appropriated by those who seek to enrich themselves as they have done over the past two decades.
Another blow to South Africa’s stability and credibility!