'We'll make it happen': Mantashe says plan for new power utility a 'reality'

Despite President Cyril Ramaphosa not bringing up the establishment of a new power generating entity in his economics-heavy State of the Nation Address, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says the plan is a "reality".

Mantashe on Thursday briefed the media on the energy-related interventions announced by Ramaphosa in his speech last week.

As the country struggles with a shortage of generating capacity, Ramaphosa announced the fast-tracking of the procurement of emergency power, and gave the greenlight to municipalities in good financial standing to buy electricity from independent power producers. 

Ramaphosa did not, however, refer to the establishment of a new power utility distinct from Eskom, a project introduced by Mantashe at a mining indaba earlier in the month.

At the time Mantashe said he had invited investors to partner with government or invest in the establishment of the alternative power utility. "By this time next year we hope we can say we have a site for energy generation outside of Eskom. We want people to sell energy through transmission. We want to take the pressure off of Eskom," he said.

Responding to questions from Fin24 at Thursday's briefing, Mantashe said the new entity is not just an idea. "It is a reality, and we will make it happen," Mantashe said.

"I am sure you would appreciate the fact that – the president will not talk about everything and anything [in his address]. There are still departmental budgets which are coming, which will outline programmes department by department," he said.

The minister said that his department will be expanding on such issues when it draws up its budget adding he did not want to make any premature announcements.

"The idea of new power generation is real. I can tell you already there are indications of people who are interested," he added.

ZAR/USD
17.02
(-0.49)
ZAR/GBP
21.24
(-0.35)
ZAR/EUR
19.16
(-0.40)
ZAR/AUD
11.83
(-0.68)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.31)
Gold
1775.00
(+0.00)
Silver
18.02
(+0.64)
Platinum
807.67
(+0.22)
Brent Crude
42.92
(+2.64)
Palladium
1919.00
(+1.71)
All Share
54521.90
(-0.17)
Top 40
50179.89
(-0.26)
Financial 15
10150.02
(-0.64)
Industrial 25
76554.73
(+0.52)
Resource 10
50138.02
(-1.24)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1571 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2064 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3077 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2234 votes
Vote