Ramaphosa promises to end load shedding

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) says President Cyril Ramaphosa’s five-point energy plan, which is centred on leveraging Eskom’s installed generation capacity to fill the short-term electricity supply gap and opening up the electricity sector to Independent Power Producers (IPPs), is straight out of the DA playbook.

Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Monday night on actions to tackle the energy crisis. DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Kevin Mileham said while the DA welcomes the steps taken by the President to address the energy crisis, they still find it unacceptable that it took this long to take action.

“The DA has, for years and as recently as May, consistently called for the opening up of the grid to IPPs through red tape reduction and increased private sector investment in the electricity sector”.

Mileham said one area of concern from Ramaphosa’s energy plan is the formation of the so-called National Energy Crisis Committee (NECOM) composed of ‘relevant’ Ministers to oversee the implementation of the plan. South Africa simply can’t afford to have individuals such as Ministers Gwede Mantashe and Pravin Gordhan, who have repeatedly stood in the way of IPPs and private sector investment in the energy sector, lead efforts to address the load-shedding crisis.

He added that many of the obstacles to increased generation are self-imposed by the government. “Whether it’s by standing in the way of municipalities who want to procure or generate their own electricity, whether it’s through onerous regulations on small-scale generation or any of the other counter-productive regulations around preferential procurement or local content requirement, this national government has consistently been the biggest part of the problem”.

In his address, Ramaphosa promised to end load shedding. He added that he will accelerate the procurement of new generation capacity and transform the electricity sector and position it for future sustainability.

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