Ramaphosa’s surprise announcement: power to the people!

Dylan Bettencourt

In a surprise announcement, President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted the threshold for companies to produce their own electricity without a licence to 100MW.

The previous cap on electricity was at 1MW.

This will allow businesses and households to build much bigger self-generating power.

Companies producing their own electricity and electricity for use by others (known as the embedded generation) is seen as the most efficient way to add additional power to the electrical grid.

Many companies have opted to find alternative forms of power, mainly because of the unreliable power supply from the state utilities. These alternative power sources are often solar panels or wind turbines.

Mines and farms, as well as many companies, are said to have 5,000MW in contained projects, which may be released if the licensing requirements are lifted.

Power providers Eskom announced on Thursday that the nation would move to Stage 3 load shedding to drop 3,000MW of demand from the grid to prevent the power stations from overloading.

It is hoped that the announcement will reduce the load on Eskom, as companies can generate much more of their own electricity.