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South Africa Witnesses Over a Month Without LoadShedding, President Attributes Success to Energy Action Plan

by Central News Reporter
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President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa shared insights into the current state of South Africa’s energy crisis. According to his latest weekly newsletter, the nation has experienced a reprieve from the disruptive load shedding for an extended period exceeding a month and a half. This development, as explained by the President, is a direct result of the comprehensive Energy Action Plan (EAP) unveiled in July 2022 amid escalating energy challenges.

While cautioning that it may be premature to declare an end to load shedding definitively, President Ramaphosa expressed optimism regarding the substantial progress achieved. He attributed the improvement to enhanced performance and maintenance of Eskom’s power stations and the augmentation of new generation capacity within the nation’s energy system.

The Energy Action Plan encompasses five strategic objectives focusing on the repair of Eskom’s coal-fired power stations, fostering private sector investment in energy generation, expediting the procurement of renewables, gas, and battery storage, encouraging investments in rooftop solar, and overarching reforms in the electricity sector aimed at securing long-term energy sustainability.

Noteworthy achievements highlighted include a significant reduction in outages due to unplanned maintenance, with a notable nine percent reduction recorded between April 2023 and March 2024. This has resulted in an additional equivalent of 4400MW being integrated into the national grid, marking a considerable stride towards stabilising the country’s energy supply.

President Ramaphosa commended the dedication and efforts of Eskom’s leadership, management, and general work force, noting the critical role of the National Energy Crisis Committee in facilitating a coordinated response to the crisis. The involvement and support from the private sector were also acknowledged as a vital component of the plan’s success thus far.

In addressing the pivotal aspect of adding renewable energy sources to the national grid, the President underscored the removal of licensing obstacles for new energy projects. This regulatory relaxation has spurred private investment, resulting in an impressive pipeline of over 130 private energy projects, cumulatively representing more than 22 500MW of new generation capacity. Additionally, the surge in rooftop solar capacity, now exceeding 5000MW, underscores the collective effort in alleviating the pressure on the national grid.

Countering speculations that the improved energy situation is a pre-election manoeuvre, President Ramaphosa furnished data to refute claims of political strategizing, particularly concerning the use of diesel-fuelled peaking plants.

Looking ahead, the President shared an optimistic view of South Africa’s energy future, citing legislative efforts such as the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill aimed at fostering competitive energy markets. He emphasized the ongoing expansion of the transmission network to support renewable energy integration, particularly in regions like the Northern Cape.

Despite the progress, President Ramaphosa maintained a cautious stance, highlighting the persisting risk of load shedding and calling for continued prudent electricity usage by all South Africans

Ramaphosa Says There’s Room for Economic Growth and Transformation in 30-Year South Africa Review
President Cyril Ramaphosa Says There’s Room for Economic Growth and Transformation in 30-Year South Africa Review

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