Renewable Energy- A solution for the future of energy production

Solar Energy

If not for the environment then why not do it for the economic benefits. Solar energy is arguably the most effective and feasible renewable energy source in the universe. Not only does it ensure environmental sustainability, it also has economic benefits, especially in a country that has an environment that is conducive of such an energy resource. Solar energy is free from the sun, unlike non-renewable resources which have been commodified and which we are currently dependent on. It is noise and pollution free, and PV panels are low maintenance because there are no moving parts to service and can be installed easily because there are hardly any wires. Despite all this, South Africa still continues to depend on and invest in non-renewable energy sources, which to a certain extent have led to our current electricity crisis.

South Africa is located between 23 and 30 degrees South of the equator. This means the country receives perfect sunlight all year round to be able to power the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa using energy from the sun. One other significant requirement for using solar power to produce electricity is adequate land. The Nothern Cape would be the best option for such, especially since it is has an arid climate and much of the land is not utilized. The Nothern Cape has enough of an area to house sufficient Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels to be able to produce enough electricity for the whole of South Africa. The panels collect solar energy and convert it into electricity. The PV cells can be linked to a rechargeable battery which collects energy in the day to be used at any time, even at night when there is no sun.

But why are we not moving towards solar, Wouldn’t we save significant amounts of government resources and also make the most from all the coal we will be exporting once it becomes unnecessary to us?

The problem is the lack of political will, self enrichment of individual members of our government, and the role our government plays in protecting the interests of white monopoly capital. Eskom is a state owned entity dependent on coal mines which are privately owned in order to produce electricity. The entity has been struggling financially over the past two decades, and our government sees millions of rands in bailouts as the only solution to the problem. “A problem cannot be part of the solution.”

Government officials who have shares in coal mines will automatically lack the political will to move towards renewable energy resources such as solar, as they cannot privatise or commodify energy from the sun. Despite the knowledge that South Africa will soon run out of coal, we continue to perpetuate our defence of this non-renewable resources. Instead of looking towards renewable energy resources as alternatives, our capitalistic government would rather protect their own pockets, afterall environmental and economic shortfalls of coal-fired electricity generation only affect the poor.

The only true financial costs of using solar energy emerge from production and installation of PV panels, however in a country that is well resourced and has more than enough labour force, this should not be a problem, rather an advantage. It is extremely agitating to witness the level of greed and disregard for the environment or the poor potrayed by our government who get their mandate from white monopoly capitalists and supremacists.

I’m not a tree hugging hippie, but if not for the environment, can we at least consider alternative sources of energy as South Africa, for the social and economic benefits. This will not require much from our government but political will and concern for the citizens of this country. Or are we waiting for some white family from the north to commodify and own the sun before we consider using it as a source of energy. If this is not an African solution to an African problem which is promulgated by Northern ways of thinking, then there is no other solution. Why should we consider multitrillion rands worth of nuclear deals with Nothern countries when we can do it on our own?



Open letter to UJ VC

Open letter to Ihron

The Vice-Chancellor of a university the chief academic officer and chief executive. In simple terms, the VC is the principal of the university. The VC convenes and overlooks different processes within the university and also sits in the highest decision making body of the university. The autonomy of South African universities is allowing VCs like Professor Ihron Rensburg to use their political power and influence to perpetuate their own interests.

Ihron is a narcissistic VC who rules a university with militant, anti-egalitarian dogma to satisfy his voyeuristic tendencies. The ability of this man to perpetually oppress young minds and poor workers is enhanced by his character, which is quiet difficult for him to hide, despite using apartheid techniques of avoiding media attention at all costs.

Prof Irhon is a professional liar, a vicious and vindictive man, who potrays himself as innocent and is very charming in front of witnesses. This was illustrated about two weeks ago when he convened a media briefing and failed to address students and workers who had been calling for him to address them for more than a week. He blatantly lied to the media about the state of the university, going to the extent of saying 5000 students had been evacuated from the UJ APK library that day (it is impossible for the library to be hosting such a plethora of students during study break (block week) or any other time of the year for that matter).

This man excels at deception and his capacity to deceive should never be underestimated, he uses excessive charm and is always convincing. The man can evade accountability easily as he never answers questions directly if he even answers them at all. To cover for his lack of empathy, he uses plenty of fine words and lots of form. He prides himself in his ability to outmanoeuvre most people in verbal interactions, especially at times of conflict. He relies on mimicry, repetition and regurgitation to convince others that he is both a normal human being and a tough dynamic manager.

Rensburg defeats workers and students on the table because he is skilled in being able to anticipate what people want to hear and then saying it. However the man cannot be trusted or relied upon because he frequently fails to fulfil commitments and shows symptoms of an emotionally retarded asinine.

One of the protruding factors of this monster is arrogance and prejudice towards certain groups of a society. According to his, he is superior, entitled, invulnerable and untouchable. Perhaps he gets this narrative from being part of and very influencial in the pseudo-democratic and arrogant leadership of the post 1994 South African government. The demons working for the devil describe him as a bully with an impulsive need to control everyone and everything around him. Note that these characters are usually associated with  a psychopathic personality or antisocial personality disorder.

Perhaps this explains why Ihron is very reluctant to meet with students and workers in a mass meeting that will be attended by all who work and study at the University of Johannesburg. When asked for a mass meeting by the UJ #FeesMustFall movement for a mass meeting, he insisted on meeting the students and workers in groups of 30. In these meetings he consistently attacked students who appeared to be radical and were not allowing him to intellectually rape them like he usually does to all UJ employees and students, whom by the way he deeply undermines.

Ihron Rensburg undermines and tries to destroy anyone whom he sees as a potential threat. He usually causes conflict between groups who oppose him by buying certain individuals and using them as infiltrators. These individuals are usually disposed in the lavatory at a later stage. This is simply because, Rensburg will never acknowledge others, their achievements, or even their existence.

More than half of UJ students do not know you Ihron, they only know your newsletters. Stand up and lead, shed all that pride and arrogance before it’s too late. Stop being a bully and be a leader. You could have prevented this, you failed. Now please mitigate these adverse impacts of your actions. Also bring back all students you suspended in an attempt to frustrate and derail the movement.

A concerned student