Reacting to Minister
Pravin Gordhan's budget speech this afternoon, Shanaaz Nel, Response
Campaigner for Greenpeace
said: "As expected, Minister Gordhan's familiar speech about
infrastructure investment, jobs, micro economic reforms, tax incentive schemes,
social and economic development hit all the expected cues but continues to hit
a sour note with millions of South Africans who have heard it all before.
An estimated R700 billion
"By definition, doing the same thing over and
over again and expecting different result is referred to as insanity. This
budget presentation was clearly a repeat of those of the past few years.
"His budget did not at all tackle how
South Africa will pay for President's Zuma's proclamation that nuclear and gas
exploration will go ahead.
"The insistence by the administration
to go ahead with expensive coal plants,
fracking and nuclear projects that will cost South African taxpayers an
estimated R700 billion is mind-boggling. Especially as growth and energy
demand targets have been overestimated."
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Dirty fossil fuels
"South Africa desperately needs to
halt all investments in dirty fossil fuels, while increasing its uptake of
renewables. While commendable, the 47 renewable energy schemes that are under
construction remain insufficient, particularly if South Africa really wants to
meet the low-carbon-economy targets by 2030. We know that renewables are
efficient, feasible and less expensive than the current electricity plan as
outlined in the country's integrated resource plan (IRP).
"As outlined in the Greenpeace energy
manifesto, we challenge the honourable minister and his compatriots – and the
future administration – to champion an advanced energy revolution by
investing in cleaner and more sustainable options for the sake of South
Africa's citizens. This country cannot afford to wait until another election
year to change course."
Picture: Green economy from Shutterstock
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