Let us maintain the momentum to end loadshedding

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Monday, 31 July 2023

Let us maintain the momentum to end loadshedding

Dear Fellow South African, 

A year has passed since we launched the Energy Action Plan to resolve the loadshedding crisis, and we are now able to report significant progress in several areas.

Today, we are releasing a detailed report outlining the work done to improve the performance of Eskom’s power stations, accelerate the building of new generation capacity and drive regulatory reforms to transform the electricity sector.

The winter months will soon be coming to an end. Although loadshedding has continued, as was anticipated, we have managed to avert a worst case scenario by stabilising the performance of Eskom’s power stations and reducing demand.

Eskom’s generation fleet continues to show sustained improvement. Unplanned losses have been reduced to less than 16,000 MW in in the last two months, down from more than 18,000 MW previously. Planned maintenance has been reduced during the winter period, with Eskom having undertaken significant maintenance in the months preceding winter.

Looking ahead, damaged units at the Kusile and Medupi power stations are being returned to service on an expedited basis. In combination these units represent more than 3,000 MW of capacity.

The Eskom debt relief package announced by the Minister of Finance will enable necessary investment in maintenance and expansion of the transmission network.

Since the launch of the Energy Action Plan, we have worked to add as much power as possible to the grid.

Eskom has unlocked close to 400 MW from companies with extra available capacity, and a further 600 MW is currently in the contracting process. We have sourced an additional 400 MW from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique.

We are fast-tracking the procurement of new generation capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage. Later this year, the first three projects from the emergency power programme are expected to connect to the grid. Also later this year, around 2,300 MW from the most recent bid windows of the renewable energy independent power producer programme should be in construction.

One of the most important contributions to the Energy Action Plan has been the uptake by households and businesses of rooftop solar. 

It is encouraging to see that more municipalities are allowing customers to feed electricity into the grid when they have surplus electricity. This will provide yet another incentive for businesses large and small to invest in alternative energy sources.

Regulatory changes have helped to boost private investment in new generation capacity. These changes include the removal of the licensing threshold for generation facilities and the fast-tracking of project approvals and registration. 

This work has enabled a massive boom in private investment in electricity generation, with a pipeline of more than 10,000 MW of new capacity that will begin to connect to the grid later this year.

To ensure that we never experience power shortages again, we are implementing fundamental reforms to create a competitive electricity market and an independent national grid operator.

To encourage everyone to get involved, we are today launching a website where all South Africans can track the work of the National Energy Crisis Committee and see how to reduce their consumption and save on energy bills.

We have maintained that loadshedding will not be resolved overnight, but we are making clear progress towards reducing it and eventually bringing it to an end. 

Let us maintain this momentum, and let us all play our part, wherever we can, as we lay the groundwork for an energy secure future.

With best regards,