Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says power from the eight projects for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme is expected to be connected to the national power grid by August 2022.

Mantashe has announced the preferred bidders for the programme. Eskom has been battling to keep the lights on while conducting maintenance on its ageing infrastructure.

The country is currently on Stage-two load shedding until Saturday morning. Briefing the media in Pretoria, Mantashe said the eight projects will inject a total private sector investment amount of R45 billion into the economy.

“These eight projects will inject a total private sector investment amount of R45 billion into the economy with an average local content of 50-percent during the construction period. South African entity participation from these projects is 51%  with black ownership at 41%. The preferred bidders are required to reach financial close by no later end of July 2021. It is envisaged that first power from these projects will be connected to the grid from August 2022.”

The electricity will come from wind, solar, natural gas, and coal. South Africa’s economy needs a regular and adequate power supply if it is to grow faster than the population growth of the country.

“One is Aqua Power Projects DAO, second is Car Powership SA Kuga, Key Powership Saldana. Molelo Total Kuga, Molelo Total Hiddle Storage, Oya Energy Hybrid Facility, Umoye Langa Hybrid Facility. Those are the eight preferred bidders.”

Minister Mantashe briefs the media on developments in the energy sector: 

Eskom warns of load shedding for years to come

On Monday, Eskom’s chief operating officer (COO) Jan Oberholzer called on members of the public to brace themselves for more load shedding in the next five years.

He said the power utility will continue its maintenance plans for its power stations despite a heightened risk of load shedding.

Eskom which implemented load shedding last Thursday says it will continue until Saturday.

This as it struggles to generate adequate electricity to meet demand.

Breakdowns and maintenance are the cause of inadequate power generation.

Oberholzer briefed the media on the state of the status of the power grid.

“Unfortunately this is what we have not done over the last decade or so, it’s reliability maintenance. However, it’s important to understand that if you take additional capacity out … although we are tight for supply to meet the demand that means you have less that is available. And with the unpredictability of our system it makes it more challenging,” adds Oberholzer.