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South Africa thanks energy-wise consumers

The South African government has thanked citizens who have done their part towards saving energy, as the country experiences increased demand for electricity.

“A special word of appreciation goes to all South Africans who are already saving energy in their homes, and to industry players, particularly the mining industry, for working with Eskom and government to help the country to manage this national emergency,” the Cabinet said in a statement after its ordinary meeting in Cape Town.

“Business Unity South Africa's role and commitment to encourage all its affiliates to save 10% of energy is also acknowledged and welcomed.”

The meeting discussed the latest developments regarding the electricity emergency and noted that although the country still had the capacity to generate electricity.

The Cabinet noted however, that the reserve margin of between 8% and 10% continues to pose challenges which necessitate load-shedding in parts of the country.

“The government is satisfied that Eskom and the departments of Minerals and Energy, and of Public Enterprises are implementing plans to address the emergency situation in a coordinated manner and in consultation with the major energy users.”

The government appealed to all businesses and individual households to participate in the campaign to save electricity by reducing consumption by 10%.

This move is envisaged to will improve the electricity reserve margin and assist Eskom to reduce load shedding in the short term, while implementing the medium to long term measures to expand the country's generation capacity.

The government will intensify interaction with major stakeholders to ensure their participation in the national effort to reduce demand.

The meeting also received a report on the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

The meeting noted that South Africa's report in this regard was being finalized and will be submitted to the OECD Working Group during the course of February 2008.

Further to this, Cabinet approved the program for the Ministerial media briefings scheduled for the week of February 11 to 15, in Cape Town. (allafrica)