Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 27 October 2010 – Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) “’ the official national association of independent consulting engineers “’ has come out in strong support of the call for extraordinary measures to avoid the inevitable blackouts that South Africa could experience within the next 24 months.
In a statement released here, CESA said: “If we continue on the same path that we went through in 2008, our view is that at current rates of electrical demand, rolling blackouts like those experienced in 2008 could be inevitable within the next 24 months, and may persist intermittently for a further 24 months unless appropriate action is taken by all relevant stakeholders.”
The statement added that South Africa could reach a situation where the system reserve margin reached a level that might necessitate mandatory, voluntary or forced load shedding. “The implications on the economy and the lives of the general populace, as we all know from the experiences we had in 2008, could be disastrous,” it warned.
CESA strongly believes that emphasis needs to be placed on the following: Continued focus on increasing current power generation capacities through new build programmes and return to service of mothballed power stations; effective and efficient maintenance and refurbishment of such existing power generating facilities; accelerated introduction of independent power producers into the country’s overall power generation mix; an increasing role in the conservation of power or electricity going forward by all end user customers and/or consumers; and favourable consideration by government for an appropriate energy conservation scheme or power conservation programme that does not further aggravate the current constrained economic situation the country is facing.
CESA’s membership has grown to almost 500 companies which employ more than 21 000 people.