23 January 2012
Saving electricity and using it efficiently is the responsibility of all South Africans, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said at the launch of the 49m 2012 Plan in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga province on Sunday.
The 49m campaign, an Eskom initiative endorsed by the government and business partners, was launched by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe last year. It is the country’s biggest energy saving movement, seeking to address the issue of the country’s constrained power system.
Gigaba urged South Africans to use electricity wisely in order to secure a sustainable future for the country.
“What we are trying to do with this campaign is to explain why electricity is important, why saving it is important, and how people can do that,” he said.
Gigaba stressed that electricity was vital for the country’s economic and social development. Households and new human settlements required electricity as well as developing industries.
“It is also important to save electricity for the future. We need to learn to use electricity efficiently for a sustainable future.”
People also needed to understand the benefits of using electricity more wisely, which include more money in their pockets due to reduced electricity bills, he added.
Eskom Chairman Zola Tsotsi explained that the idea behind 49m, based on 49-million, the population of the country, was that “each and every one of us has a responsibility to ensure that we exercise some saving in the supply and use of electricity so that there is a greater amount available to the country.”
Tsotsi added that it was significant that the campaign started in Emalahleni which was a major player in power production and was home to a number of power stations.
He said he was impressed with the positive response the campaign had received from Emalahleni residents.
“They understand the full impact of what we are talking about. I believe they will be very involved in the campaign and that we will have their full cooperation.”