Electricity and Control March 2016


W e have now been through the State of the Nation address as well as the budget speech. I suspect neither was easy for the respective presenters. One tends to assess these things on not only what is said, but also on what is unsaid. There can be no doubt that many of the policies governing the way we do business in South Af- rica need a thorough review. This is not for one moment to suggest that each policy, initially, was not well thought out with very clear objectives. Many, however, tend to clog up the very systems that we need to be unplugging in order to begin to grow the economy. And dare we flirt with the reality that it may imply accepting policies that would, for instance, not be considered accept- able in Europe. Let’s be honest… imagining that we can grow the economy by attracting more tourists, or digging more stuff out of the ground and putting it onto trains… is missing the point. We need to actively address a number of key issues. These include: • Reducing the number of unemployable citizens • Recognising that the vast majority of our popu- lation is young (very young) • Coming to terms with the fact that, in general, our basic education standards are atrocious • Understanding that our higher education sector is unaffordable to most South Africans • Dealing with the fact that huge sums of money are squandered by the very people who should be custodians of that wealth None of these deals with thorny policy issues. They deal instead with systemic issues that can be managed and controlled. What is required is the will to do that. It is easy to find fault and point fingers, but my read- ing of the two speeches is that there is a growing realisation that it is a shared responsibility to sort all of this out. That it is not the State alone, but the citizens and the State. I sense a growing acceptance that the State sets the tone for how we engage in solving these wicked problems and it is beginning to take responsibility for growing the economy as well as creating the environment in which this can take place. I find it interesting that we face drought, crisis in the Department of Finance, troubles in some State owned entities, the threat of a downgrading by rat-

ings agencies – to focus our attention on the fact that we need to turn the ship around. It takes the threat of a wreck for us to pay attention. Unfortunately, there no quick fix. There is no way to continue to make short-term gains at the expense of long-term sustainable solutions. In as much as social grants are a critical reality, we need to begin to figure out how to make our population less reliant on the system; how to en- gage the population in creating wealth and making a difference. These are wicked problems indeed. But they are problems we need to be finding solutions to… yesterday.

Editor: Wendy Izgorsek

Design & Layout: Adél JvR Bothma

Advertising Managers: Helen Couvaras and Heidi Jandrell

Circulation: Karen Smith

Publisher : Karen Grant

EditorialTechnical Director: Ian Jandrell

Quarter 4 (October - December 2015) Total print circulation: 4 734

Published monthly by: Crown Publications cc CnrTheunis and Sovereign Sts Bedford Gardens PO Box 140, Bedfordview 2008 Tel: (011) 622-4770; Fax: (011) 615-6108 e-mail: ec@crown.co.za admin@crown.co.za Website: www.crown.co.za Printed by:Tandym Print

Ian Jandrell Pr Eng, BSc (Eng) GDE PhD, FSAIEE SMIEEE

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The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, the editor, SAAEs, SAEE, CESA, IESSA or the Copper Development Association Africa

March ‘16 Electricity+Control


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