SONA 2020: Ramaphosa promises increased Eskom capacity to deal with blackouts
Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night announced that power utility Eskom’s capacity will be increased through renewable energy, natural gas, hydro-power, battery storage and coal.
Delivering his fourth State of the Nation Address in Parliament, Ramaphosa said: “We will initiate the procurement of emergency power from projects that can deliver electricity into the grid within three to 12 months from approval”.
He also promised that his administration would open bid window 5 of the renewable energy independent power producers and work with them to accelerate the completion of window 4 projects.
Ramaphosa said in the coming months as Eskom works to restore its operational capabilities, his administration will be implementing measures that will fundamentally change the trajectory of energy generation in the country.
He warned South Africans that the reality is that South Africa’s energy system will remain constrained until a new energy generation comes on stream.
However, he undertook that: “Through these immediate measures and the work underway to fundamentally restructure our electricity industry, we will achieve a secure supply of reliable, affordable and, ultimately, sustainable energy”.
He admitted that load shedding has had a debilitating effect on the country and severely set back his administration’s efforts to rebuild the economy and create jobs.
According to Ramaphosa, every time load shedding occurs, it disrupts people’s lives, causing frustration, inconvenience and hardship.
”At its core, load-shedding is the inevitable consequence of Eskom’s inability over many years – due to debt, lack of capacity and state capture – to service its power plants,” the president added.