SA should prepare for two more years of load shedding – Mantashe

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Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: GCIS
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: GCIS

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has announced that load shedding will remain on the cards for at least the next two years.

Speaking in Parliament on day two of the debate of the state of the nation address (Sona) delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, Mantashe said that Eskom had given an indication that “we [will] face at least two years minimum of potential load shedding”.

Mantashe also announced a series of measures to get the ball rolling on alternative sources of power following Ramaphosa’s address.

“[The] Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 provides for additional capacity of 2 000 megawatts of emergency power, 1 500 megawatts from coal, 2 500 megawatts from hydro, 6 000 megawatts from photovoltaic, 14 400 megawatts from wind, 2 088 megawatts from storage and 3 000 megawatts from gas,” the minister said.

“Section 34 determinations to implement the IRP 2019 are finalised and await concurrence by Nersa. This will also enable opening of bid windows for the renewable energy power procurement and support further investment in the sector.”

He said that red tape had been minimised for those who wanted to look into generating their own power.

The minister also elaborated further on the conditions which municipalities would have to meet in order to get the greenlight to procure power from independent producers.

These include:

• Alignment to the IRP 2019 and all other applicable laws.

• Good financial standing.

• For the long-term sustainability, a municipality must demonstrate diversity in its customer base and that electricity revenue collection meets its electricity operations and energy buying costs.

This is especially critical to ensure that paying customers – especially commercial – are not burdened with high electricity tariffs as compensation for non-paying users.

• Compliance with the Municipal Finance Management Act – particularly Section 33, which outlines the procedure for a municipality that procures a service like power generation; provided the cost is below a prescribed value.

• Approval from National Treasury under the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury Regulation 16.

• The municipality must demonstrate either the existence of the necessary technical capacity and competence; or that they have in place convincing measures to create the capacity.

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