More than R100 billion was needed by 2025 to address the serious energy crisis and load shedding issues in South Africa. However, even with that, industry capacity was needed to be ramped up to avoid importing power, government has said.
On Sunday, Minister of Electricity in the Presidency Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa delivered his weekly update on the energy crisis in South Africa.
He said that while there were several projects currently in execution that could unleash up to 2300 MegaWatts of energy, they were still faced with the conundrum of financial constraints.
Ramokgopa said they noticed the trend that every time resources were needed, Eskom would obtain lesser resources than expected because of their financial constraints.
“That represents the fact that we are behind where we want to be in terms of a planning point of view as a result of the limited financing,” he said.
Ramokgopa said that by the 2025 financial year, they would need close to R100 billion and then by 2029, it would have to be ramped up to R170 billion.
“Clearly the Eskom balance sheet will not be able to finance this so we need alternative sources of finance and that is what we are working on. Funding is a major issue, industry capacity is also a major issue.
“There is lots of work that needs to be done but outside of the money being available .... you need to build industry capacity otherwise we will be importing and importing,” he said.
Ramokgopa added that building sufficient industry capacity will also assist in the unemployment issue facing South Africa.
Ramokgopa also warned that a predicted cold front for parts of South Africa, especially in Gauteng, this week may lead to higher stages of load shedding.
He said they expected the demand to surge and have found that when a cold front hit parts of the country, the surge accounted for a significant 25% of the energy load.
“If improvement to available capacity does not meet the demands, then we will have load shedding,” he said.
Ramokgopa said that increasing the industry capacity was key to see an extinction of load shedding however, it was “short term pain for long term gain”.
“When we say we are out of load shedding we must give you the assurance that we are confident it is over,” he said.