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State set to delay shutdown of Eskom’s coal-fired power plants

The government now plans to delay the decommissioning of Eskom’s power stations that were due to be mothballed. Picture: Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

The government now plans to delay the decommissioning of Eskom’s power stations that were due to be mothballed. Picture: Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Published Apr 24, 2023

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Ramaphosa said the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) had noted the problems that have been created by load shedding, and the urgent need to ensure a stable energy-security supply.

He said they were concerned about the disruptions caused by load shedding, as Eskom implements various stages of power cuts.

Ramaphosa’s comments came after Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa tabled his energy plan to the NEC over the weekend.

Ramokgopa had also suggested at a media briefing that they needed to revisit the closure of some of the power plants that were due to be decommissioned soon.

He had said one power station was due to be decommissioned in 2025, and the other in 2026. Also, Koeberg’s lifespan has since been extended by 20 years.

Ramokgopa had suggested in his plan that old power stations, some built in the 1970s and others in the 1980s, must be refurbished.

Investment in these power stations should come from the fiscus, he said.

Ramaphosa said the NEC said the priority was for the government and Eskom to end load shedding.

“The NEC supports the approach that as we prioritise ending load shedding, we will need to revisit our decommissioning schedule to balance energy security and our climate commitments.

“This is not a new approach. A number of other countries have had to do so when they faced a variety of crises in their energy-generation sectors,” said Ramaphosa.

He said resolving the energy crisis remained a priority.

Ramokgopa had also come up with short term and medium-term solutions in his plan.

The Cabinet had viewed the plan and asked for its urgent assessment.

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