Chairperson, the DA cannot in good conscience support this Budget Vote when our country is once again faced with the looming prospect of load shedding. Electricity reserve margins have dwindled to zero and below international standards.
The primary responsibility for energy security lies with the Minister of Energy, and it is unfortunate to state that this Ministry has not done enough to ensure that the lights stay on and our economy is not constrained by a severe lack of electricity.
This is the very same department that refused to review the Integrated Resource Plan and has now committed to a nuclear future which, in fact, is rejecting the recommendations of the National Development Plan.
Furthermore, there is roughly 2 500 megawatts of energy that can be utilised from co-generation projects. It is unfortunate that the department has not created the right incentives to ensure that this electricity demand is taken off the grid.
The DA is also appalled by the alleged corruption that has taken place at PetroSA. This is from a company that has already wasted R2 billion on exploring for nonexistent oil and gas in Egypt and Equatorial Guinea, and is embroiled in a scandal in Ghana.
The DA cannot support the budget of this department until we see greater levels of accountability and effectiveness, Minister, in addressing the energy challenges of our country. Thank you.