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Gwede gets a green slap, plus five highlights from ‘Vrye Weekblad’

Here’s what’s hot in the latest edition of the Afrikaans digital weekly

11 June 2021 - 06:55 By TimesLIVE
Minerals and energy minister Gwede Mantashe.
Minerals and energy minister Gwede Mantashe.
Image: GCIS

It was the hardest slap Cyril Ramaphosa had ever given a minister – and it was to his loyal lieutenant, Gwede Mantashe. Ramaphosa's announcement on Thursday about private power generation is also an indication that he has lost his patience with the general feet dragging. And now the doors to green power are wide open. 

Private institutions may now generate up to 100 megawatts without the bureaucratic red tape and sell it, which may mean we could be free from load-shedding by the end of next year.  

Minerals and energy minister Mantashe's love for strict government control and fossil fuels has been sharply criticised recently. On Thursday during Ramaphosa's briefing he looked slightly sheepish and admitted that the president had “bent his arm in this direction”. Actually, Ramaphosa tore his arm off and slapped him in the face with the bloody side. 

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About Mantashe's other pet project, the emergency powerships from Karpowership, Ramaphosa said there were several complaints that would be thoroughly investigated before the project could go ahead. “Everything we as government do has to be transparent,” Ramaphosa said.

The secretary of the Climate Justice Coalition, Alex Lenferna, said if there was political will, SA could have been the world leader in renewable energy by now. 

“We should be putting in place green industrialisation policies to build that energy at home, resulting in a thriving, job-creating renewable energy sector. The biggest obstacle is the department of mineral resources and energy. It is a rogue department that refuses to be accountable to communities, workers and civil society.”

It looks pretty certain that Mr Mantashe will not be minerals and energy minister after the upcoming cabinet reshuffle. He will remain in the cabinet, though. Ramaphosa needs him as Rottweiler in the ANC.

Read more about this, and more news and analysis in this week's Vrye Weekblad.

Must-read articles in this week’s Vrye Weekblad

IT'S TIME TO PAY | Despite the third wave of Covid-19, some of the latest economic data showed that there was hope for stronger GDP growth in 2021. But the ongoing problems at Eskom and poor municipal service delivery is diminishing that hope.  

THE 'BROWN' DRAIN | The Western Cape's chief detective has a point with his reference to the removal of coloured expertise from the SAPS, but this “brown drain” can also be seen elsewhere. 

MISTAKES, FEAR, AND BRAVERY | A new book tells the “other side” of SA soldier Wynand du Toit's capture and time as a POW in Angola. 

IS SA THE BRAAI MECCA?  | We get some perspective on the other world teams in the A-league of braai (if they do exist) and look at variants such as “barbecue” and “grill”.

POST OFFICE ON THE EDGE | Koos Kombuis remembers a leaked love letter and messages on pink notepaper, and wonders about an institution that has become a threat to us.