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Eskom welcomes President’s announcement on interventions in the country’s power crisis

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Power utility Eskom has welcomed the announcement of further reforms announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday to address the country’s electricity crisis.

These reforms will go a long way towards easing power generation constraints the country has been grappling with for 14 years.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the reforms will accelerate uninterrupted power supply and will expand and grow electricity generation in South Africa.

He says, “Particularly pleasing to Eskom is that the government has made these moves to empower Eskom to speedily acquire additional generation capacity from existing Independent Power Producers (IPPs) with excess capacity, to acquire spares and equipment from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and indeed the resources to increase the funding of the maintenance budget. To this end, Eskom is engaged in efforts with all interested stakeholders to introduce the necessary skills where we have gaps at the moment.”

Experts

Energy experts have given the thumbs up to Ramaphosa’s announcement that Eskom will now be able to buy additional energy from IPPs.

They say for the first time in 13 years, a proper diagnosis has been done and that there has never been an integrated plan to address the energy issues the country is facing.

Analysts are optimistic that the integrated approach by government will look at both short-term and long-term plans for generating more energy capacity.

They say that although the plan to buy additional power from renewable energy is a good one, there is still a long way to go to ensure its effectiveness and reliability.

Reaction to energy action plan to end SA’s power crisis:

Earlier, the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) said government’s hasty facilitation of the privatisation of Eskom is economically counter-productive.

Num’s energy sector coordinator Khangela Baloyi said government’s determination to privatise Eskom will lead to job losses.

“That’s what we believe. Because when you give the private players to generate electricity, you are taking the market from Eskom. When you lift the threshold of 100 megawatts for companies to be allowed to build their own power stations, you are actually taking away the customers of Eskom. [You are] taking away the ability [for] Eskom to make revenue … to make sure that Eskom is bankrupt and then you hand it over to private,” says Baloyi.

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