The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Honourable Des van Rooyen, addressed the 67th convention of the Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities (South Africa) – AMEU, under a theme:- â€œElectricity Landscape of the futureâ€. The convention was held yesterday (04 October) at Emerald Resort and Casino at Vanderbijlpark.
AMEU promotes the quality of service and management excellence in the field of electricity supply in the interest of national energy efficiency. The Minister congratulated the Association and commended their achievement.
The Minister indicated that AMEU contributes to the development of the municipal electricity supply sector in a variety of ways, including contributing to national policy development for the sector. This enables knowledge sharing amongst members with regard to all aspects of municipal electricity provision, including matters such as equipment specifications, test results, new trends, tariff structures and loss control techniques. AMEU is invaluable, especially for the smaller municipalities which might not have the capacity and its contribution is an indication of the professionalism of municipal electrical officials and their commitment to delivering quality and reliable energy services to the South African citizens.
Municipalities and businesses are hard-hit by the theft and damage to infrastructure and government recognises the devastation that this issue brings to cities. â€œIt is within this context that the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) of my department has in the past year supported 75 municipalities in the development of new infrastructure as well as the refurbishment of existing ones in an effort to improve the provision of servicesâ€, said Minister.
â€œSince 1994, South Africa has made tremendous progress in increasing access to basic services, including the key municipal services of water, sanitation, electricity, refuse removal as well as roads and storm water. Our major challenge now is to improve the functionality of the infrastructure so as to provide services to the citizensâ€, said the Minister.
The Minister emphasised the need to build sound local government institutions, with capable staff, efficient and effective administrative processes.
The Minister wished that the conference will confirm that the future for the electricity industry is indeed bright, amid all the challenges within the sector. These range from how best to utilise smart meters and whether the option that South Africa moves to a pre-paid system of electricity utilisation is a viable one, to the challenges posed by a fast-moving technological landscape that may make jobs and functions redundant.
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