Is South Africa facing a serious energy shortage? I'm not sure. I just want to correct that at the beginning because, if I just answer the question, it will look as if I am confirming that we have a very serious energy crisis! [Laughter.] I think we should correct that because that perception might be coloured by politics!
The economic development of South Africa, which was skewed at the beginning and structured in a particular way, has created the shortages that we have faced at times. The manner in which energy is used also has a history to it. Less than 18 years ago we were saying that energy in South Africa was in abundance; it was very cheap, etc. It is not as if we have had a shortage all along. It was the distorted manner of doing things that suddenly got us into difficulties.
But we have dealt with the issue. Part of the point that we have been making regarding the energy mix is precisely to deal with that issue. There is no disagreement - I don't think there's disagreement by now - about the type of energy we need. Nuclear energy forms part of the mix.
The other issue is this. Should you have Eskom only to deal with energy or should you involve other people? I think it was agreed that we needed to have many parties participating in generating energy. So, there is no disagreement. Efforts have been made to deal with the issue. As you know, specific power stations are being built, with timeframes. They will deal with the matter. In the meantime, we have so balanced the question of energy that the Minister of Public Enterprises could make a statement not long ago, saying that we would not have problems as winter approached because there were contingency plans in place to deal with the matter. These include how we utilise what we have, but also the fact that we have plans and we also have power stations under construction.
So, there is no threat. That's why I first wanted to deal with the question of whether there was a serious threat to the country - there isn't at all. [Laughter.] Everything is smooth, and nuclear energy is included in the mix.
Identification by PICC of projects and infrastructure initiatives, including Moloto Rail corridor
6. Ms M G Boroto (ANC) asked the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission has (a) met since its establishment in September 2011 and (b) identified any projects and infrastructure initiatives in all provinces for the 2011-12 financial year; if not, why not; if so, (i) how will these projects benefit their immediate communities and the national imperatives of creating jobs and building a viable economy and (ii) what are the further relevant details;
(2) whether these projects include the Moloto Rail Corridor; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?