President Cyril Ramaphosa says some municipalities are getting ready to generate their own electricity. Answering questions in the National Assembly on Thursday, he said the restructuring of Eskom will transform the sector and allow for greater competition and investment in new generation capacity.

Ramaphosa says government welcomes this.

The first question, posed by Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen, sought the president to outline the government’s plans to fix Eskom and transform the ailing energy sector.

Ramaphosa said a number of measures were already in place, aimed at changing the trajectory of energy generation. The restructuring of Eskom will allow local municipalities to take advantage of the process as the sector opens to new players.

Ramaphosa said some municipalities have already declared their intention, to generate power for their residents. “This will remove the risk of relying on one entity that has the sole monopoly on power generation in our country. This reform will have a significant positive impact on economic growth and will improve the reliability and efficiency of our electricity supply.”

Some municipalities are getting ready to generate their own electricity: Ramaphosa

Decarbonisation process

Ramaphosa was also peppered with questions about the R133 billion loan offered to South Africa by the European Union and other nations in the west. This loan is to support South African’s decarbonisation process.

The support will range from grants to concessional loans, which Ramaphosa says will have very low-interest rates.

Ramaphosa does, however, say the conditions of this loan will have to be favourable to South Africa.

“We will be seeking to have negotiations in a very transparent manner where we won’t just roll over and accept conditions. The last thing we want to do is be lumped with conditions that are going to restrict our ability. We are going to be absolutely careful.”

The bulk of the questions centered on the loan, and the conditions, and whether it would undermine the sovereignty of the country.

Ramaphosa stresses that the transition to a cleaner energy mix is a process South Africa has to navigate. He says South Africa’s choices are limited.

But he adds this choice will unlock many more opportunities and economic sectors for the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa answers questions in the National Assembly: