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South Africa: Power crisis is a sin that must be fixed, says Brian Dames

By Xolisa Phillip, in Johannesburg

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Posted on December 26, 2022 18:28

 © Electrical workers contracted by the eThekwini Municipaltity begin repair work at the township of Umlazi after damage from flooding from days of heavy rains in Durban, on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Rajesh JANTILAL / AFP)
Electrical workers contracted by the eThekwini Municipaltity begin repair work at the township of Umlazi after damage from flooding from days of heavy rains in Durban, on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Rajesh JANTILAL / AFP)

“The sin of not having power is something our generation should not allow and needs to be fixed,” says CEO of African Rainbow Energy and Power Brian Dames.

Dames is the former CEO of the troubled South African power utility. But on the sidelines of the German-African Business Summit, he tells The Africa Report: “I don’t comment on issues of Eskom.”

A few moments earlier, Dames was a discussant in an energy panel, sharing the stage with Rainer Baake, Germany’s special envoy for the Just Transition Partnership with South Africa. Baake is the erstwhile energy state secretary in Germany.

Dames and Baake engaged in some verbal sparring during their panel, neither pulling punches on their thoughts about the future trajectory of South Africa’s energy transition. The discussion took place against the backdrop of stage 6 load-shedding.

“I think for all of us as South Africans, it is hugely important that we focus on energy security,” Dames says. “It’s important for big business, small business.”

“We made a promise to people in South Africa that

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