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Government to delay decommissioning of some power stations - Ramokgopa

Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published May 5, 2023


Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has reiterated the government’s stance not to go ahead with plans to decommission some of the power stations because of load shedding.

Ramokgopa said they had also spoken to their international partners on the Just Energy Transition about plans to reschedule or delay the decommissioning of power plants.

President Cyril Ramaphosa also confirmed this a few weeks ago, saying the country needed to invest in these power stations as they provided much needed energy.

Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe told Parliament this week that it was a mistake to decommission Komati power station in Mpumalanga.

In his plan that he presented to Cabinet recently, Ramokgopa had highlighted the need to delay decommissioning coal-fired stations as the country needed to find a lasting solution to the energy crisis first.

Ramokgopa told a media briefing on Friday that Camden power station was due to be shut down. But this would be delayed as part of measures to minimise the impact of the power crisis.

He said Camden was one of the top performing power stations.

“The point we are making on the rescheduling, rather delayed decommissioning of these power plants, we had made a case that as we speak now there are about three units at Camden that are meant to go out. If you look at them they give us 140MW each. That gives us 420MW that is in line to be decommissioned. As we speak now we are short of megawatts. If you look at Camden it’s within the top five performing power stations.

“I don’t think it helps us to decommission those (power stations) that are performing. What we are saying is that delay the decommissioning,” said Ramokgopa.

The government was given billions of rand by the developed countries to fast-track the shutdown of coal-fired power stations.

This was part of the Just Energy Transition programme.

But the government has taken a different stance after the projections for load shedding showed the country was not out of the woods yet.

Ramokgopa had presented a six-month plan to reduce the severity and frequency of load shedding.

But there was also an 18-24 month plan to address the energy crisis.

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