Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa provided an update on South Africa’s progress in addressing the ongoing challenge of load shedding and power generation. While acknowledging that the country has made significant strides, he emphasized that the journey is not yet complete.
South Africa Progresses in Taming the Load Shedding Challenge Ramokgopa
Reduced Load Shedding Intensity:
Ramokgopa highlighted that South Africa has seen a notable reduction in load shedding intensity. The goal is to minimize daytime load shedding and restrict any necessary outages to late afternoons, with a maximum limit of level 4 load shedding.
Despite the remaining challenges, the minister expressed optimism, characterizing the ability to go without load shedding for an entire day as a psychological victory. This reflects the progress made in improving power generation and reliability.
Planned Maintenance Increase:
A key factor contributing to improved power reliability has been a rise in planned maintenance capacity. Ramokgopa noted that Eskom has increased its planned maintenance by about 2 gigawatts (GW), which enhances the system’s overall reliability.
The minister recognized the contribution of the private sector in boosting the country’s energy framework. Collaborative efforts with private companies, such as the pilot project with Vodacom, have yielded substantial benefits.
Challenges to Address:
Ramokgopa also pointed out some pressing concerns. The proliferation of illegal electricity connections places significant stress on the distribution infrastructure. Additionally, the substantial municipal debt of R64 billion is affecting Eskom’s ability to invest in generation infrastructure.
Debt Resolution Measures:
The government is considering interventions to address municipal debt. These measures may include addressing illegal connections, implementing prepaid meter systems, and ensuring consistent municipal payments over 12 months.
Overall, the update indicates that South Africa is making progress in its efforts to overcome load shedding and improve energy reliability. Collaboration between the public and private sectors remains crucial in this endeavor.