It’s important to talk to alternative energy producers in SA: Electricity Minister

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South Africa’s new Electricity Minister, Dr. Kgosientso Ramokgopa, has emphasized the importance of exploring energy alternatives, as the country grapples with continuous rolling blackouts.

On Monday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes to the Cabinet, increasing the portfolios from 28 to 30.

Ramokgopa will work with Eskom and other stakeholders on the urgent implementation of the Energy Action Plan.

He was the Mayor of Tshwane between 2010 and 2016, but most recently headed efforts to drive infrastructure investment in the presidency.

In an interview on SAFM’s Sunrise programme, Ramokgoopa says, “It is important that we have a conversation with alternative energy producers in the country. On the demand side, the intention is to reduce energy demand without undermining households’ ability to meet their daily needs and businesses to maximise their own profits. So, it is important that we exploit opportunities around solar, battery storage and inverters.”

Ramokgopa says he is prepared to take on the tasks ahead. “It is a daunting task. I think it appears impossible, but for me, anything that is technically complex, I have a greater appetite for that. We have been working on interventions around the electricity solutions in the country in my previous capacity. So, I am not introducing any new plan. What I am doing is to formulate an implementation strategy….. We are short of about 10 000 megawatts. So, my responsibility is to engage with Eskom on the generation side to see where we can get the additional megawatts.”

Below is the full interview with Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa on SAFM’s Sunrise: