South Africa’s largest gold miner, AngloGold Ashanti, recently became the forty-ninth partner of the 49M campaign, the country’s largest energy saving movement.
The campaign was launched by State-owned utility Eskom in March last year as a response to the country’s constrained power system, climate change, the recent economic downturn and rising electricity costs. The campaign is run in collaboration with government, business and labour partners.
Since the launch of 49M, various major businesses have signed on to support the national energy saving initiative and are committed to playing an active a role in conserving energy. Fourteen per cent of 49M’s corporate partners are among the top 100 JSE-listed companies.
“AngloGold Ashanti stands fully behind the 49M pledge and its objective of encouraging energy efficiency in South Africa,” said AngloGold Ashanti CEO Mark Cutifani.
He states that AngloGold Ashanti will assist municipalities that host its operations by installing smart metering technology to improve control over power use and reduce losses incurred by municipalities.
“To drive the desired behavioural changes, we will partner with our staff, as well as with the host communities, schools and municipalities where we operate.
We will also install heat pumps for villages and replace shower heads to save water as part of the energy chain,” adds Cutifani.
The mining industry is one of the leading consumers of electricity in South Africa, and Eskom CEO Brian Dames welcomes the measures that AngloGold Ashanti has implemented to reduce energy consumption.
“They have provided a model of energy efficiency which others can follow, helping to alleviate the load on our country’s power system,” says Dames.
Cutifani states that reducing AngloGold Ashanti’s energy footprint of its operations and reducing its costs will result in a lower impact on climate change.
“The 49M campaign is about working together and we are delighted to be part of it. We know that, together, we have the power to make a difference,” he says.
Since the launch of the campaign, Eskom has received support from major companies that are part of the energy saving initiative.
“Though there hasn’t been a noticeable change yet, we encourage South Africans to actively reduce their current electricity consumption by 10%,” says Dames.
“We notice a spike in electricity use between 17:00 and 19:00 that is so large it equates to the total energy consumption of South Africa’s neighbouring countries in one day,” notes Dames.
He says it is also a behavioural change campaign, as it is focused on improving the way in which South Africans use energy.
“The changes are not easy to detect and measure immediately as they require sufficient time and monitoring. We are, however, happy that South Africans are heeding the call to save energy,” concludes Dames.