Media release: BLSA welcomes the president’s energy plan and applauds its bold approach
POSTED ON: July 26, 2022 IN by Admin
BLSA welcomes last night’s announcement of the plan of action by President Cyril Ramaphosa to bring an end to loadshedding.
We applaud the president’s bold new plan in terms of its immediately actionable steps to:
- Fix Eskom and improve the performance of our existing fleet of power stations;
- Accelerate the procurement of new capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage;
- Accelerate greater private investment in generation capacity;
- Enable businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar; and
- Transform the electricity sector and position it for future sustainability.
These are major steps that the president has taken and there is now no need for the declaration of a state of emergency or disaster. The news that Eskom will over the next year increase its maintenance budget to increase the reliability of its power stations is positive, as is cutting red tape to allow the utility to procure parts and equipment more easily is the sensible thing to do.
Of course, it is important to determine how Eskom will pay for these measures and tackle its debt burden, and BLSA is pleased with the announcement that Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana will deal with the issue of Eskom’s debt in his medium-term budget policy statement in October.
We are particularly pleased that the president is involving the private sector in his interventions in that companies will now be able to build power plants of any size without needing to obtain a licence and will be able to sell power to the grid. Even owners of buildings and homes will now be permitted to sell power from rooftop solar panels.
It is also encouraging that the amount of new generation capacity procured through bid window 6 of the REIPPPP for wind and solar power will be doubled from 2,600 MW to 5,200 MW. This will move South Africa more swiftly towards the use of wind and solar power and lessen its dependence on coal.
BLSA has championed these types of interventions for a long time and recently, with other business organisations, submitted a detailed strategy to government to address the energy crisis, through Business for SA.
We hope the measures announced in the president’s plan will be implemented with both urgency and purpose as well as transparency.
Stage 6 load shedding has been a real drain on business and ordinary South Africans. As the president said last night, the shortage of electricity is a huge constraint on our economic growth and job creation – it deters investment and it reduces our economy’s competitiveness.
BLSA is ready and willing to assist in driving the implementation of this new energy action plan. There’s lots of work ahead but we believe that we are finally moving in the right direction.
For media requests contact BLSA Internal and Media Relations manager Tumelo Muteme email@example.com or on 0765388502.
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