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Minister can see light at end of load shedding tunnel

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South Africa’s Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa is confident there has been a sustained, improved performance at Eskom’s power stations.

The Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, updates the media on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan. Picture: GCIS

THE MINISTER of Electricity in the Presidency, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, is confident that South Africa has turned the corner on its energy crisis and it may soon be the end for load shedding.

In his weekly update to the nation on the country’s Energy Action Plan, Ramokgopa said they were beginning to see a “sustained, improved performance” over an extended period of time.

Due to the continued improved generation fleet performance and emergency reserves fully recovered, Eskom announced on Sunday that load shedding would remain suspended and might only resume on Tuesday afternoon.

The power utility has planned to institute Stage 1 load shedding on Tuesday from 4pm until 5am on Wednesday, with load shedding suspended from 5am to 4pm.

Eskom expects this pattern to be repeated daily until further notice.

It revealed that breakdowns currently stood at 13,559 MW, while planned maintenance was at 4,765 MW of generation capacity.

Ramokgopa said that while they have seen significant green shoots, it was important not to become complacent. He said these small, incremental and gradual steps were edging the ministry and power utility closer to the light.

He also reported that roof solar has more than doubled since July last year.

“This is great news and we are really encouraging more South Africans to look into these resources,” he said.

Ramokgopa said government was also looking into extending the incentive programme for solar energy to other components of self-sustaining electricity, such as to those with inverters.

He said government was also looking at a financial instrument that would also assist poorer households to access these new resources.

Last week, South African Revenue Service commissioner Edward Kieswetter briefed Parliament’s finance standing committee and noted that the energy crisis may have cost the country R150 billion.

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