Electricity minister gives update on Energy Action Plan: ‘Be patient’

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 12, 2024


Cape Town - Electricity Minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, has asked South Africans to “be patient” as the ministry and Eskom work towards resolving load shedding over the long term.

Ramokgopa was briefing the media yesterday on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan.

The plan was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in July, outlining steps to fix Eskom and end load shedding. Following this, a National Energy Crisis Committee was established to ensure the plan was implemented to achieve its objectives.

Ramokgopa said the R80 billion cash injection from the National Treasury would allow Eskom to ramp-up planned maintenance. The ministry has already received R44bn of the money.

Ramokgopa said that since May last year, planned maintenance had increased from around 3 120MW to 7 307MW in February this year.

“The outside experts have told us to focus on planned maintenance,” said Ramokgopa.

He said Eskom had spent a significant amount of money on planned maintenance.

“It is important that, in the midst of momentary setbacks, when you go to stage 4 and occasionally go to stage 6, we don’t lose sight of essentially what the trendline is.

“The best measure of this trendline is illustrated in the Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor, which is a combination of the reliability of the units and partial load losses. When we entered May 2023, the amount of megawatts lost as a result of the factor was averaging 17 369MW."

The DA on Friday served Ramokgopa with court papers relating to their determination to procure 2 500MW of new nuclear power generation.

“We contend that the determination was procedurally unfair and failed to permit public comment on the submissions on which it was based. We will therefore be seeking to have it set aside,” said DA MP Kevin Mileham.

“It is our opinion that the determination published, signed on March 10, 2020, by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, is invalid because it was made by the wrong minister, namely Mantashe.

“By the time the determination was finally made (in January 2024, or alternatively, when Nersa concurred in August 2023), the power to make that determination rested with Ramokgopa,” Mileham said.

Meanwhile, Liziwe McDaid from Green Connection, said: “In light of the country’s ongoing energy and climate crises, it is important that South Africa meets its energy needs in environmentally and economically sustainable ways.

“This can only be achieved with transparency and meaningful public participation in agreements that government makes on behalf of the people.”

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Cape Argus