“The challenges we have in SA are the same as the rest of the world” – Brian Dames, WEF 2023

Brian Dames, CEO at African Rainbow Energy & Power, speaks to Bronwyn Nielsen at WEF 2023 in Davos. Dames relates his experience so far and how it is patently clear that the crises South Africa faces are the same as the rest of the world.

Brian Dames on what stood out at WEF 

What is clear is that the challenges we have in Africa are the same in the rest of the world. There are many crises across the world and private sector governments as well as NGOs have to work on solving those. 

Strategies to ensure energy security in SA

Energy security is absolutely crucial and our solutions need to be sustainable while at the same time ensure we do not make short-term decisions that affect our long-term impact on the environment and our economies. But speed and implementation is of the essence. I do not think money is the big debate anymore. It is the ability to bring skills into a regulatory environment in a way that is certain, clear, consistent and firm for private sector companies to implement.  

SA needs to start implementing 

None of it has to do with the plants. We have people, we have capacity; we need to make sure all of us work together to get that done. Whether it is realistic or not, South Africa is good at planning but we are not very good at implementation. We need to bring together some of our best brains to implement without trying to look at all stakeholders and satisfying everybody because we can’t. What we have to do is ensure energy security that is affordable. That would drive the economy and make sure people have jobs. What is currently happening is not acceptable and must be addressed.  

On becoming Eskom’s CEO 

It is not a question I have ever entertained. I enjoy what I do. We are always available to provide advice and input. It is very important that Eskom is successful. If there are any thoughts about energy security in South Africa without Eskom, we are dreaming. It needs to be a big part of the solution. I promise you not one person will solve this issue. It requires some of the best brains to come together and deal with it. 

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