South Africa: Pres Ramaphosa pledges to fix energy shortage

CAPE TOWN, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to fix a worsening power crisis that has gripped South Africa for long.

The government will implement measures that will fundamentally change the trajectory of energy generation in the country, Ramaphosa said, while delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a joint sitting of Parliament.

State-run, debt-ridden Eskom, the major electricity provider in the country, has seen rolling power blackouts over the past few years, particularly the last few months, which severely set back efforts to rebuild the economy and to create jobs, Ramaphosa said.

Load shedding is the inevitable consequence of Eskom’s inability over many years due to debt, lack of capacity and state capture to service its power plants, said Ramaphosa.

He urged the public to accept the reality that load shedding will remain a possibility for the immediate future before Eskom undertakes fundamental maintenance that is necessary to improve its reliability of supply.

The president announced a series of measures to increase generation capacity outside of Eskom.

Emergency electricity can be delivered into the grid within 3-12 months of approval. Independent power producers will be allowed to enter the energy market, which has been monopolized by Eskom, according to the president.

We will negotiate supplementary power purchase agreements to acquire additional capacity from existing wind and solar plants, he also said.

Source: NAM News Network