Hot mess: SA’s failed solar heater plan shows gross state ...

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Hot mess: SA’s failed solar heater plan shows gross state incompetence

Since 2008, a million were supposed to have been installed, but only 400,000 have been put in

Neil Overy

Two weeks ago mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe gave answers to a parliamentary question about the state of the national solar water-heating programme.

His answers attracted little media attention, though they revealed how startling public sector incompetence has resulted in stalled service delivery and hundreds of millions of rand in fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The DA asked the minister how many solar water heaters had been installed in 2019, how many were in storage, and what the monthly cost of such storage was. The minister revealed that no solar water heaters had been installed in 2019 (incidentally, none were installed in 2017 or 2018 either), and that 86,856 solar water heaters (out of a total of 87,206) were in storage, at a staggering cost to the taxpayer of R8,187,956 a month...

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