Energy Policies Must Benefit People, Planet Leaders Should Learn from Political Science Davies a Menace to Economy, Has No Clue Include Public in Talks on Nuclear Energy Race as a Youngster, Where Do I Fit in This Vexed Land? READERS' FORUM

Article excerpt

Where is my place in this troubled country? Let's say I'm that Grade 10 schoolgirl from Qwaqwa in the Free State worried whether I made the right choice in enrolling for science and doing pure mathematics at school, worried if I will make it to be as successful as Khanyi Dhlomo and not turn out to be another Khanyi Mbau.

With all my country's dirty laundry being made public and broadcast all over the world, how do I become the next Khanyi Dhlomo of South Africa?

Calamities like John Hlophe's case, fake kidnappings, childish behaviour of erecting billboards, and broadcasts of sugar daddies and their sugar babies' relationships drama, how do I fit in into this society?

It's annoying and scary for me to watch the news and see a chief executive of a company or government organisation being investigated for serious crimes. It seems like a propaganda wave has hit successful South Africans and is out to kill. Philisiwe Mthethwa, Julius Malema, Steven Ngubeni, Pansy Tlakula, Dina Pule, Andile Lungisa, Zwelinzima Vavi and Judge Hlophe, guilty or not, it's bad for me and my peers to be seeing this happen.

I wish South Africans could respect their positions, be leaders who we can count on. What the youth needs is to be shown discipline and how to act responsibly... 20 years into democratic rule it's time we talked and broadcast positive developments and not who did what for whom, when. Let's be a nation building each other rather than creating uncertainty among the young.

Thank you for publishing the article by Saliem Fakir "Coal 3 lock-in is driven by BEE interests at the expense of people" (Business Report, October 3.)

Fakir reveals the danger - found worldwide - of placing financial interests above the well-being of people and the planet.

The fossil fuel industry - we are told - is spending huge sums of money convincing the American public that climate change is not real. But you can't fool nature. There will be little point in having an abundance of fossil fuel power and money on an inhospitable planet.

The solution lies in renewable energy (RE) which, as reported by Fakir, is cheaper than coal or nuclear. Financially, Germany provides an interesting case. Many commentators report on costly wind energy there. According to German MP Hans-Josef Fell in his book Global Cooling: Strategies for Climate Protection, his country's largest coal-powered electricity utility could not pay dividends as it could not increase the price of electricity, even though coal increased in price. The reason: the price of wind and sun had not gone up, so the RE-generated electricity had not!

Does South Africa not need independent "green power" options to provide competition in our "free enterprise economy" to Eskom's monopoly of generation and distribution? What has happened to the Independent System and Market Operator Bill and can't we have BEE renewable energy investors - investing in the future? The grid will not reach 2 million rural households. Decentralised RE can.

Coal and uranium are increasing in price. Sun and wind will not.

We must develop energy policies that will benefit the people and restore the health of the planet, not just benefit investors. We need an ethical approach to our energy generation. We cannot allow short-term vested financial interests to hold our future well-being to ransom.

I refer to the letter by Nicholas Dekker (Business Report, October 7) in which he takes a broad swipe at politicians, BA degrees and political scientists. …