The Mineral Resources and Energy Department has committed to developing adequate generation capacity to meet the country’s electricity demand. It says this is an urgent and immediate task to ensure economic growth.
The department says, as part of efforts to ensure security of electricity, Minister Gwede Mantashe has considered short and medium-term interventions to the energy challenges that the country is facing.
They will allow capable municipalities and large electricity consumers to procure power directly from independent power producers.
Meanwhile, chief economist at the Centre for Risk Analysis, Ian Cruickshuncks, has warned that if the Department does not keep its word, the country will be pushed into a recession and a further rating downgrade.
“We’re probably heading towards a recession. The third quarter was negative 0.6%, the fourth quarter is heading towards another downswing. It’s going to mean we would have had two consecutive quarters of a shrinking in the economy. Then we get the official view, that is a recession. So, we shouldn’t be surprised if the last of the rating agencies say South Africa is going to be downgraded further.”
The DA says it welcomes Mantashe’s statement on government’s planned interventions to resolve the electricity crisis. However, the party’s Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources Kevin Mileham says the planned interventions are too little too late.
Mileham says the DA remains committed to working with government in finding solutions to the rolling blackouts that are affecting the economy.