Cape Town - Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said the energy action plan remained the government’s overarching strategy to tackle the energy crisis and to avoid a blackout.
Ramokgopa also said the government was implementing the energy action plan to also improve the supply of electricity.
He was responding to DA MP Traverse Anatole le Goff, who wrote to him asking whether a comprehensive recovery plan had been put in place to outline the government’s response to maintain social order and ensure that essential services continued to function in the event that a national electricity blackout occurred.
He also asked when the specified plan would be tabled in the National Assembly.
“The energy action plan (EAP), announced in July 2022, remains the government's overarching strategy to tackle the energy crisis and avoid a blackout,” Ramokgopa said.
He said their set of interventions were buttressed on five pillars.
These were fixing Eskom and improving the availability of existing supply, enabling and accelerating private investment in generation capacity and accelerating procurement of new capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage.
There was also a plan to unleash businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar and other demand side management programmes as well as transforming the electricity sector to achieve long-term energy security.
“These interventions are geared to ensure the country is safely navigated out of the immediate crisis of load-shedding and our energy demand and supply is harmonised.
“The roll-out of an aggressive national demand side management campaign will further help stabilise demand with the immediate generation capacity constraints, and in the medium-term additional emergency energy will be introduced through the uptake of surplus energy within the South African energy pool.”
Ramokgopa said his ministry continued to work with energy-intensive users, the renewable energy sector, Eskom and other stakeholders across the energy value chain to ensure that beyond the immediate crisis, in the medium to long term, energy security was restored by increasing production in line with the energy-mix profile set out in the Integrated Resource Plan.
There was also the strengthening and expansion of the national transmission infrastructure as codified in the Transmission Development Plan.
Ramokgopa said the systems operator, located at National Control Center, actively managed daily production capacity against demand to ensure a reserve margin was maintained, and utilise load shedding and load reduction as instruments to maintain the integrity and safety of the national grid.
“The National Energy Crisis Committee continues to co-ordinate and direct all public and private sector specific interventions, including assessment and management, associated risks, and will continue to provide periodic updates on its work and progress,” he said.