Ramokgopa: ‘Solar not Eskom’s only intervention’

By Doreen Mokgolo

Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has rejected the narrative that Eskom’s current performance is due to renewable energy projects which were rolled out in industries and households. He credits various interventions. 

“If you go through the Energy Action Plan (EAP) on point four, it states that we have to roll out rooftop solar solutions for households and industry. 

“We have been able to double the amount of rooftop solar solution megawatts that can be drawn from the intervention from 2,100 megawatts to 4,400 megawatts,” he said.  

The minister offered an update on Monday during his weekly media briefing on the EAP at Eskom’s Megawatt Park in Johannesburg where officials were in attendance. 

The country has been spared from load shedding during the past 54 days – the longest period since chronic load shedding began in December 2021.  

Ramokgopa said aggressive maintenance was rolled out in December 2023. 

“The 18 units that were taken out for maintenance are returning and are healthier. 

“We have been able to improve the Energy Availability Factor by nine percentage points, from the same period last year from 51.7% to 60.5%,” he said. 

Ramokgopa said though the trend lines are positive the country is not out of the woods yet.  

“We know that we are going to experience momentary setbacks. It is the nature of this and we are fixed at returning units on time,” he said. 

Ramokgopa said Eskom is still waiting on the legal team in the Presidency to advise them after the Pretoria High Court on 16 May denied them leave to appeal the judgment for the entity to provide uninterrupted power solutions to public institutions which include schools, hospitals and correctional services. 

“We remain to be advised by the legal team in the Presidency on what constitutes the next move. 

“What is not in doubt is that there is a need to ensure that the institutions require an uninterrupted power supply and don’t deny that load shedding is a dent on their ability to deliver on their constitutional mandate. 

“What we are saying is that the manner in which we are expected to execute can be expensive  and sustainable and we are requesting from the court what the judgment meant. 

“The sooner we resolve load shedding the sooner this problem will be moot,” he said. 

Pictured above: Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. 

Image source: Doreen Mokgolo

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