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Ramaphosa to discuss new plans for power stations

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Cabinet is convening an urgent meeting as the country grapples with rolling blackouts after Eskom ramped up power cuts this week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered closing remarks at the 5th South Africa Investment Conference held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Picture: Kopano Tlape, GCIS

CAPE TOWN – Cabinet is convening an urgent meeting as the country grapples with rolling blackouts after Eskom ramped up power cuts this week.

The power utility has been implementing higher stages of load shedding.

The meeting of the Cabinet is expected to take place on Wednesday.

News24 reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa wanted to discuss plans for the old power stations.

Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa had in the last few weeks been visiting 14 Eskom power stations across the country.

Ramokgopa told the media two weeks ago he was going to present his plan of dealing with load shedding to Cabinet.

However, he had said that some of the power stations would need more money to be invested in them so that they can continue to operate.

But Enoch Godongwana, the Minister of Finance, said this week that Eskom will have to use its revenue to refurbish the old power stations.

Ramokgopa said in view of the fact that some of the old power stations can still operate, they need money to shield the country from load shedding. He said this would minimise load shedding while the country tries to find a lasting solution.

Eskom had already started plans to decommission some of the power stations in Mpumalanga. The coal-fired power stations would have to be converted into renewable plants.

Koeberg is the only station that provides nuclear energy and its lifespan was to be extended by another 20 years.

The government had planned to move away from coal-fired stations to a just energy transition and had secured US$8.5 billion for this project from the international community.

Ramokgopa had said after going to each and every station, after he took over the position, he found that the immediate solution would lie in investing more money in the power stations.

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