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South Africa seeks alternative solutions to power crisis

On Thursday, South African parliament reached a decision to solve the current energy crisis weighing heavily on the country, Reuters reported.

The cabinet said that imports of gas and diesel need to be increased and an agreement will be signed with the private sector for a coal-fired power plant.

With industries loosing R6 billion in revenue due to rampant power cuts, the economy took another knock when the rand feel to its lowest against the dollar since late January.


The privatised coal-fired power plant programme will be implemented in early 2015 and is estimated feed a further 2 500MW into the national grid, said Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.

Gas and Diesel

Additional gas and diesel imports will generate an estimated 500 to 2 500MW, with the gas being sourced from Mozambique and transported via an existing pipeline between the two countries.

Radebe told media that ‘Cabinet remains concerned over the disruptive effect the recent power outages are having on the daily lives of South Africans and its impact on households and businesses across the country.

‘We are facing a massive crisis to the South African economy that is costing us 100s of billions (rand) in lost production’, said Dawie Roodt, chief economist at Efficient Group.

He continued: ‘Clearly, what we have done up to now is not working and I don’t know if we are doing enough to turn the ship around’.

Facing the biggest power crisis since 2008, which resulted in the country losing millions as three of South Africa’s largest mines were forced to shut down, the parastatel power utility is running at a deficit of R225 billion over the next four years.

Eskom, which supplies 95% of the country’s electricity, says it will have a financial shortfall of 225 billion rand ($19.6 billion) over the next four years.

(Pic Credits: digital-consult)

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.


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