The Democratic Alliance (DA) has today written to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, demanding that he take immediate steps to address the worsening electricity crisis in our country. With Eskom having announced stage 4 loadshedding, the Minister must prioritize procuring alternative sources of electricity and opening the grid to independent power producers (IPPs).
Among the primary causes of Eskom’s problems is the fact that not a single generation unit at Khusile, which has taken 8 years to build and cost approximately R200 billion, is operational.
The Minister missed an opportunity when the Integrated Resource Plan was finally adopted earlier this year to announce the easing of licensing requirements for entities generating less than 10MW, to give the required Section 34 determinations to the 17 applications (including the City of Cape Town and several large mines) that wanted to be permitted to purchase directly from IPPs, and to ease the regulation of residential small scale embedded generation.
This fresh round of rolling blackouts comes on the back of an already shrinking economy, and will further impact economic growth as we head into the festive season and the height of South Africa’s tourism influx.
Minister Mantashe must act now. The DA has indicated its willingness to work across party lines to resolve this crisis, by introducing the non-partisan Independent Electricity Management Operator (IEMO) bill to parliament. We call on Minister Mantashe to support this initiative and help us fix South Africa’s electricity supply.
Kevin Mileham MP
DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
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