State electricity utility Eskom needs to find ways to slow price increases, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
Presenting his annual state of the nation address to Parliament, Zuma said there was an ongoing concern from business and communities about high electricity costs.
“I have asked Eskom to seek options on how the price increase requirement may be reduced over the next few years, in support of economic growth and job creation and give me proposals for consideration,” he said.
“We need an electricity price path which will ensure that Eskom and the industry remain financially viable and sustainable, but which remains affordable especially for the poor.”
However to achieve sustainability, a pact would be required with all South Africans -- including business, labour, municipalities, communities, and all customers and suppliers.
“We must save electricity. For the next two years, until the Medupi and Kusile power stations come into operation, the electricity system will be very tight.”
Everyone should play a part to avoid load shedding.
To increase energy capacity, government would continue searching for renewable energy sources, especially solar electricity and biofuels as the green economy accord with economic stakeholders was implemented.
“To date we have installed more than 220,000 solar geysers nationwide.”
The government target was one million solar geysers by 2014- 2015, Zuma said. - Sapa