The Minerals Council South Africa says it welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent announcement on the inclusion of the private sector in resolving the country’s energy crisis.
According to the council, the President’s plan to abolish the 100MW licencing cap on private sector renewable energy projects will ensure greater private sector participation to urgently install electricity generation capacity and address Eskom’s R400 billion debt.
The council says the mining industry already has 73 projects in the pipeline from 24 mining companies to generate 5.1GW, valued at more than R65 billion.
So far this year, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has registered 295MW for mining companies.
Mining union rejects privatisation of Eskom
Meanwhile, the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) says government’s hasty facilitation of the privatisation of Eskom is economically counter-productive.
Num’s energy sector coordinator Khangela Baloyi says 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 station, 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.
Below is Baloyi’s full interview on SAfm’s First Take programme:
Additional funding for Eskom
In his address on Monday evening about the country’s energy crisis, President Ramaphosa said Eskom will over the next 12 months receive more funding to carry out critical maintenance.
The move will allow the power utility to improve the performance of its power stations by recruiting skilled personnel.
Ramaphosa gave Eskom three months to add new generation capacity to the grid on an urgent basis.
He says this will be achieved by buying energy from businesses, households and neighbouring countries.
More details about the president’s announcement on how to tackle the energy crisis:
-Additional reporting by SABC News