South Africa’s Electricity Minister wants to purchase R30 billion in diesel to reduce loadshedding

  • South Africa’s newly appointed Electricity Minister, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, briefed the media on his plans to resolve the energy crisis in the country after presenting the plan to the ANC National Working Committee and the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in Boksburg yesterday.
  • The people of South Africa face up to 10 hours of loadshedding (blackouts) daily because of poor planning, incompetent management, corruption, theft, looting and sabotage at the state owned and state-run energy utility, Eskom. Read more
  • The utility also faces unsustainable debt of over R400 billion and the South African taxpayer is in line to pay nearly R495 billion in bailouts by 2026. Read more
  •  Ramokgopa presented a plan to create 12000MW of additional capacity in 18 months which includes the purchase of R30 billion in diesel.

His immediate plan is to reduce sabotage of Eskom infrastructure, purchase R30 billion in diesel to run large generators, improve efficiency at underperforming power stations and reduce maintenance work during peak demand periods. He did not elaborate on how he intends to implement his plan.

Eskom pays a huge premium on diesel because they are compelled to purchase the diesel from the state owned PetroSA. Read more

Related news: Cabinet tells electricity minister to take his energy crisis solutions to NECOM

Ramokgopa emphasised that “Even with the proposed intervention, we will not stop load shedding”. He added that the plan is to ensure that the levels of load shedding still make it possible for major industries to operate so that there is no collapse of the South African economy.

South Africa’s Treasury recently appointed a group of German consultants to assess Eskom’s operational ability after committing to a R254 billion bailout for the utility. Read more.

Eskom falls under the authority of the minister of State Owned Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan. New generation procurement falls under the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy where Gwede Mantashe is the appointed minister. This leaves the appointment and role of Ramakgopa in question as he does not appear to have any authority or mandate regarding South Africa’s energy crisis.

Watch the video of his full press briefing and decide for yourself.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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