Government has a clear plan to end load shedding, President Cyril Ramaphosa said during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday.
“We set out a clear plan to end load shedding, which we have been implementing with a single-minded focus through the National Energy Crisis Committee,” Ramaphosa said.
He said that the National Energy Crisis Committee were committed to bringing substantial new power through private investment onto the grid.
Last year South Africa implemented a major debt relief package which would enable Eskom to make investments in maintenance and transmission infrastructure and ensure its sustainability going forward, Ramaphosa said.
“Through all of these actions, we are confident that the worst is behind us and the end of load shedding is finally within reach.”
A TRILLION RAND IN LOSS
According to research done by Eighty20,a consumer analytics platform there were rolling blackouts for 90% of the days in the year in 2023 (335 days, up from 200 in 2022, and ‘only’ 75 in 2021).
According to research, the economic cost of the energy crisis was estimated at more than R500 billion in 2022, with the economic cost over the last year likely to be significantly more.
However, on Thursday, Ramaphosa said despite these figures he remained hopeful and said that SA has connected more than 2,500 MW of solar and wind power to the grid with three times this amount already in procurement or construction.
Through tax incentives and financial support, SA has more than doubled the amount of rooftop solar capacity installed across the country in just the past year and the country has implemented regulatory reforms to enable private investment in electricity generation, with more than 120 new private energy projects now in development, he said.
The president said that he was confident that the worst was behind the country and that the end of load shedding was within reach.
“We are going to build more than 14,000km of new transmission lines to accommodate renewable energy over the coming years,” Ramaphosa said.
“With our abundance of solar, wind and mineral resources, we are going to create thousands of jobs in renewable energy, green hydrogen, green steel, electric vehicles and other green products.”
Ramaphosa also noted that government would be implementing a Special Economic Zone in the Boegoebaai port in the Northern Cape.
This will drive investment in green energy and their is a large amount of interest from the private sector that will see more green hydrogen energy projects, according to Ramaphosa.