South Africa's Eskom to reduce power cuts but long-term outlook bleak

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa disclosed that at least 50 percent of the work under the Energy Action Plan (EAP) is complete or on track.

The minister briefed the media on Sunday regarding the implementation of the EAP, which was introduced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in July last year. As per the EAP energy company Eskom and the South African Government join hands to ensure load-shedding is reduced for now and eventually ends.

During the briefing, the minister noted that about 56% of the work under the EAP has been either completed or on track, adding that "about eight of these actions that the President has set out in the Energy Action Plan we have completed."

He continued, "Twenty of these actions are on track so essentially what that means is that we are in keeping with the timelines that we had set for ourselves. Twelve of these actions are delayed but progressing well." SA News reported.

"Of course, that is a dent because what we want to is to be either ahead of time or on time. Eight of those are off-track and intervention is on the way," he added. "So, we are missing our own targets that we set ourselves."

He went on to explain that the government is undertaking five interventions including fixing Eskom power plants and improving available supply, enabling and accelerating private investment, accelerating procurement of new capacity from renewables, gas, and battery storage, encouraging households and businesses to invest in rooftop solar system and transform the electricity sector to achieve long-term energy security.

Minister Ramokgopa went on to reveal that the government has already sourced additional capacity from neighboring countries including 100 megawatts from Mozambique which will be gradually increased to 1000 megawatts.

He noted that government is also constantly addressing outage breakdowns at Eskom power stations, explaining that the breakdowns have been reduced from 17,000 megawatts in May to 15,000 megawatts in July.

The minister also pointed out that the delay in broke units has also come down from 2,000 megawatts to 1,300 megawatts last week. Ramokgopa shared that there are three 66 gigawatts of projects in the pipeline.

"Demand management is the fastest and most efficient way to reduce demand, particularly during peak hours," he shared. "There are a few things that we can do and the aggregate of those things is going to lessen the intensity of the demand."

The minister added, "It's quicker because we don't have to spend money, we don't have to have new generation capacity [and] we don't have to improve the energy availability factor. It has to do with our own behaviors and how we treat consumption in our own homes."

South Africa signed the Power Purchase Agreement with Mozambique in June that will make sure that in the next three to 12 months, South Africa will receive 1,000 megawatts of electricity from Mozambique in total.