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Electricity minister says there is light at end of tunnel


Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa is visiting 14 power stations as part of plans to bolster energy supply security in the country after months of load shedding.

Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, African News Agency (ANA)

MINISTER of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says there is now a clear path to ending load shedding and work is under way to do so and there is commitment from all role-players.

Ramokgopa was speaking on Monday at the start of his visits to several power stations in the country in a bid to end load shedding.

The Kriel and Duvha power stations were the first stops on his tour, which comes after the presidency announced that Ramokgopa would be meeting all stakeholders in his attempt to deal with the energy crisis.

“There are no quick solutions to the electricity crisis, which has been with us for many years. But there is now a clear path to ending load shedding,” said Ramokgopa.

“Our task is to intensify work under way and make sure that any obstacles to progress are removed without delay. The government has taken steps to improve the performance of Eskom’s existing power stations so that the coal-fired power stations that provide 80% of our electricity produce the amount of electricity for which they were designed.”

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He said his visits to the power stations was a commitment made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the State of the Nation Address to address the crisis in energy security supply.

“In the next two weeks, starting today, I will visit all Eskom power stations to engage with the management, workers and unions,” said Ramokgopa.

Last week Ramokgopa held a meeting with China’s ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, on how the two countries could work together to end power cuts in the country.

Ramokgopa will be visiting 14 power stations.

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Meanwhile, Eskom announced that the energy availability factor had increased from 48% to 70% in some of the power stations.

This followed a number of power stations coming back online.

Ramokgopa will visit the Kusile and Kendal power stations on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, he will go to Tutuka and Camden before going to the Lethabo power station the following day.

On Friday, Ramokgopa will be at the Ankerlig open cycle gas turbine and Koeberg nuclear power station in the Western Cape.

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