The Political Task Team on Eskom, chaired by South Africa’s Deputy President, David Mabuza, on Friday, September 11, 2020, met to discuss progress in resolving some of the challenges faced by the power utility in providing stable, secure and reliable energy to the country. This is in line with the objective of meeting increasing demand for electricity to ensure rapid industrialisation that promotes economic growth and employment.
The meeting noted progress in the procurement of 2 000 MW of emergency power for South Africa as well as in the procurement of additional electricity capacity in line with the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019, also known as also known as the energy mix comprising of coal, nuclear, solar and wind power.
This follows the announcement made by President Ramaphosa during the 2020 State of the Nation Address to procure emergency power from projects that can deliver electricity into the grid within three to twelve months OF approval.
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In this regard the meeting received a report that the Department of Minerals and Energy would open-up various bid-windows including bid-window 5 of renewable energy, whose process will be completed in December 2020.
On 2 September 2020, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa concurred to the Section 34 Determination issued by the Department of Minerals and Energy, which enables the Department to undertake procurement of additional electricity capacity from renewable energy sources.
This will in total enable the development of additional 11 813 MW of power from year 2022 which is in addition to the 2 000 MW under emergency procurement. It will further be in addition to the Bid Window 4 contribution to the grid.
“Whereas we remain concerned about the negative impact of recurring power interruptions, as the Task Team, we welcome this positive development and we are certain that it will go a long way towards energy security in our country and is a colossal step towards sustainable economic growth and development,” said Deputy President Mabuza.
The Political Task Team also considered feedback on the restructuring of Eskom into three separate entities, namely generation, distribution and transmission. Good progress has been registered with the divisionalisation initiative.
At this meeting, the Political Task Team on Eskom, reaffirmed its support to the leadership of Eskom for the actions taken in recovering monies owed to the utility, including action taken against illegal connections.