Zuma reports on progress made to address energy crisis

“Substantial progress” was being made in resolving the energy crisis that led to load-shedding costing the economy R1 billion/month, said President Jacob Zuma.

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Speaking at a recent press conference in Pretoria to discuss progress made this year by Government to implement the National Development Plan, Zuma said that power utility Eskom has signed short-term power purchase agreements aimed at bringing additional electricity supply “to cater for the shortfall due to maintenance and to match demand during peak periods.”

He said 800MW would be added to the grid through co-generation and that a saving of 450MW had been realised through energy efficiency programmes.

Various projects of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) were supplying and additional 1 800MW to the grid.

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According to Zuma, within the next two and a half years the energy crisis would ease with the addition of the 6 327MW as a result of 92 renewable energy programmes.

Meanwhile, Eskom’s acting chief executive Brian Molefe reportedly said the power utility would borrow R20 billion from the domestic market and international bonds to help keep the lights on in South Africa.