Energy Department to sign Power Purchase Agreements in Pretoria

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The Mineral Resources and Energy Department will on Friday sign Power Purchase Agreements with three preferred bidders in Centurion, Pretoria.

This is part of government’s broad measures to address the country’s worsening energy crisis.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), has warned that the introduction of privately-owned renewable independent power producers will lead to massive job losses.

Numsa’s National Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says the agreements will also not end the rolling blackouts.

Hlubi-Majola says, “This narrative that we’ve been told introducing more IPPs will end load shedding is frankly false. It’s just not true. Even during the load shedding crisis that we’ve had, the IPPs’ contributions have been minimal and will continue to be minimal because it is not a type of electricity that you can power industry with.”

Buffalo City Metro 

The on-going energy crisis in the country has led to the Buffalo City Metro clamping down on high energy users.

The Metro has called for industries such as factories, automotive and the manufacturing sector, to reduce by at least 20% electricity usage per day. This is only applicable when blackouts above stage four have been implemented.

The Metro says it had no option but to take the step of reducing high power usage. Industries affected include the automotive sector which is seen as the backbone of the province’s economy.

The Metro’s spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya says as a solution to the crisis, they are looking at alternative sources of energy, to reduce the pressure on the grid.

“What we’re doing, we are trying our best to mitigate the situation under the circumstances. Our main role is to make sure that big business and industry are able to stay afloat. Secondly we are able to make sure that we keep the lights on for the entire city hence the 20% shedding we are expecting from big industry. We now started the process of curtailment.”

VIDEO: President of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Advocate Mtho Xulu on the impact of the rolling blackouts on businesses: 

Additional reporting by Abongile Jantjies.