'Load shedding is destroying us': David Makhura announces energy plan for Gauteng
Johannesburg - Gauteng premier David Makhura has announced that the province will take action to safeguard its energy security as power utility Eskom is destroying the country’s economy hub.
Delivering his State of the Province Address at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Ga-Rankuwa, Tshwane on Tuesday, Makhura said instead of waiting and whingeing his administration will act decisively to safeguard its energy security and enable a just energy transition to a low-carbon economy.
”Load shedding is really destroying us,” he complained.
Makhura welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pronouncement during his State of the Nation Address earlier this month to bring additional capacity to the power grid through renewable energy, hydro-power and battery storage, which he said was in line with the Gauteng energy security strategy.
He said the strategy, which established the Gauteng Energy Office in 2016, could not be implemented due to lack of a national policy to support decentralised energy security initiatives.
Makhura also took a swipe at the DA, saying the provincial government’s initiatives were undermined by putting politics before the interests of the province.
The strategy aimed to diversify the province’s energy mix and expand energy generation capacity in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.
According to Makhura, the provincial government and the SA Local Government Association will ask Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe in April to enable his administration to unlock renewable energy projects.
Other initiatives to ensure energy security include increasing availability and use of gas, fast tracking shovel-ready solar energy projects and recommissioning of mothballed power stations.