President Cyril Ramaphosa Addresses Loadshedding in Weekly Presidential Newsletter

By Tshegofatso Makola

President Cyril Ramaphosa has used the first issue of his newsletter for the year to speak about South Africa’s energy crisis. This, amid hours on end of load shedding, and a negative impact on various industries.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has broken his silence on Eskom and the ongoing energy crisis the utility finds itself in, adding that 
the only way to end load shedding is by working together. 

According to Ramaphosa, the energy crisis we find ourselves in, has been many years in the making adding that a combination of factors have resulted in the crisis. 
Among these factors include the lack of investment in new generating capacity, poor power plant maintenance, corruption and criminality, sabotage of infrastructure and rising municipal debt, among others. 

“There can be no sustainable solution without addressing all these factors in combination.
We should not make the mistakes of the past” -President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa has expressed that the country is paying the price for miscalculations and the deferring of critical maintenance over the years.

According to the President, he has met with various stakeholders where he stressed the importance of staying the course, instead of coming up with unsustainable short-term solutions.

When speaking on the national Energy Action Plan, Ramaphosa expressed that it was the result of “extensive consultation”, adding that it has been endorsed by energy experts as “the most realistic path towards ending load shedding”.

Ramaphosa further expressed that despite new measures, many of them will not be felt in the immediate term.

Among some of the proposed plans include:

  • Having a team of independent experts is conducting a diagnosis of the problems at poorly performing power stations.
  • Eskom is working to connect Kusile Unit 5 to the grid by September this year.
  • 300 MW of capacity has been imported by Eskom from neighbouring countries.
  • Eskom is also working to buy surplus power from companies with available generation capacity for a period of three years.
  • Government has taken steps to enable investment by private power producers to increase the overall supply of electricity, in addition to what Eskom provides. 

Ramaphosa has since appealed to the public to pay for the electricity they use, adding that the huge debt owed to Eskom by municipalities has a negative impact on Eskom’s ability to fund critical maintenance.

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