State utility Eskom imposes daily scheduled blackouts, called load-shedding, to safeguard the grid whenever demand outstrips supply

The Presidency issued an 18-month update on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan (EAP) that was first introduced in July 2022 by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa's spokesperson Vincent Magwenya shared an update on the EAP, noting that it has made significant progress since it was introduced.

"The detailed update on the Energy Action Plan shows that significant progress has been achieved over the last six months in implementing the government's plan to end load shedding," Magwenya said, SA News reported.

He added that the government is working towards the full implementation of the EAP to permanently end load shedding.

Magwenya highlighted the return of the three units at Kusile Power Station months ahead of schedule and increased rooftop solar installations by businesses and households, more than doubling to over 5 000MW, thereby easing demand on the grid.

"In December, three further Independent Power Producer [IPP] bid windows were released for 7,615 MW of new capacity from solar, wind, gas and battery storage," he said.

Furthermore, Eskom also launched the Cross Border Standard Offer Programme (CBSOP), which is all set to produce up to 1,000 megawatts of additional power from neighboring countries for three years.

Eskom's Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) program's first project has been connected to the grid, which will provide 100 megawatts hours (MWh) of storage capacity. There are seven other projects under construction that will be launched in phase one of the program.

EAP, coordinated by the National Energy Crisis Committee under the leadership of Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, has a goal to fix Eskom and improve the existing power supply across the country.

This plan also aims to encourage and speed up private investment in generating capacity, acquisition of new generation capacity from renewable sources, gas and battery storage, encourage businesses and households to install rooftop solar panels and significant changes in the electricity sector to ensure lasting energy security.

The full report of the EAP is available here.

Meanwhile, Eskom has suspended load shedding until Sunday as it took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce the same.

"Due to the sustained available generation capacity and the planned return to service of 2 300MW of generation capacity by Friday, along with the anticipated low demand over the long weekend, load shedding will remain suspended until Sunday at 4 pm," Eskom wrote on Wednesday.

The update on EAP comes after the Special Tribunal earlier this week ordered the German software company SAP to pay half a billion South African rand to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in seven days over "invalid" Eskom contracts.