12 February 2008 – South Africa’s power crisis will be over in six months according to public enterprises minister, Alec Erwin.
Speaking to address investor fears about the electricity crisis facing the company, Erwin stressed that electricity supply would be ‘tight’ for another four years and that government would carefully plan any new investment projects which would require large amounts of electricity.
However, reports of investment uncertainty continue, and the government has planned a communication campaign to clarify the electricity situation and provide reassurance to investors "of the fundamental strength of the national grid".
The government emergency energy plan should help increase reserve margins from 8% to between 10% and 15% by reducing energy consumption and bringing in new supply through cogeneration initiatives.
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has set the ideal reserve margin at 16% and Erwin is certain this reserve can be met "fairly quickly".
According to Erwin, the "tight energy supply" puts South Africa in "exactly the same position as other developing countries".