Ramaphosa regrets current energy crisis as country suffers in Stage 6 load shedding blackouts

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    Nat Quinn

    Spokesperson for the president Vincent Magwenya said: “President Ramaphosa deeply regrets the current energy situation which has placed the country into stage 6 load shedding.

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    “The president acknowledges the frustration of households, parents and learners who have commenced the school calendar year facing power shortages.

    “The devastation to small businesses and the adverse impact to the economy remains severe for South Africa’s recovering economy.”

    Ramaphosa convened a National Energy Crisis Committee comprising of ministers and various technical workstream leads, on December 15, 2022, demanding urgency and speed in the implementation of all priority areas and actions laid out in the National Energy Plan despite some of the progress that has been made.

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    “To date Ramaphosa remains seized with finding a sustainable solution to the current energy crisis. The president has been regularly briefed on the situation at Eskom and on the roll out of the National Energy Plan.

    “More engagements are scheduled for today and tomorrow for a review of the situation and direction on urgent measures that must be undertaken in order to mitigate against the impact of load shedding,” said Magwenya.

    Magwenya outlined progress that has been made so far:

    – The licensing threshold through amendment to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulatory Act has been removed. This was gazetted on December 15, 2022.

    – A team from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has been established to work closely with Eskom Transmission to expedite expropriation and servitudes. The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure has in the last two months signed notices of intent to expropriate for 27 parcels of private land and 46 servitudes on DPWI land are being processed, of which 22 will be finalised in January 2023.

    – Eskom has identified up to 1000MW of additional power to be imported from Mozambique and other countries in the SADC region, pending negotiations and regulatory approvals. This is in addition to the 300MW already secured through the Southern African Power Pool.

    – Significant potential capacity has already been identified for the standard offer and emergency generation programme (potential of 1600MW) developed by Eskom – this will be implemented as a matter of urgency by the utility as no Nersa concurrence is required.

    Magwenya said a net billing framework and a feed-in tariff was also being developed to credit customers for any surplus energy they are able to feed into the grid. He said this would be targeting residential, commercial and industrial installations.

    “Further consultations are planned for the current month of January to finalise arrangements with a broad range of stakeholders, these include:

    “The process to improve the availability of spare parts and expertise from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) through more agile procurement is underway to source services from OEMs at Tutuka, Majuba, Kendal and Kusile.

    “The process of excluding transmission infrastructure from the requirement to obtain environmental authorisation countrywide in areas of low and medium environmental sensitivity has been completed.

    “Natjoints is co-ordinating the work of multiple agencies to address sabotage, theft and fraud at Eskom. Some arrests have been made, with progress driven by increased deployment of private security by Eskom.”

    Ramaphosa regrets current energy crisis as country suffers in Stage 6 load shedding blackouts (iol.co.za)

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