Presidency says government is on track to reduce load-shedding

Three units at Kusile were returned to service months ahead of schedule

27 March 2024 - 21:28 By TimesLIVE
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Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.
Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.
Image: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS/Handout via Reuters

Significant progress has been made in the past six months in implementing the government’s plan to end load-shedding, the Presidency said on Wednesday. 

The Presidency released a report on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan (EAP), which is co-ordinated by the National Energy Crisis Committee under the leadership of electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the EAP in July 2022.

The plan aims to reduce the severity and frequency of load-shedding in the short term and achieve energy security in the long term through five key interventions:    

  1. Fix Eskom and improve the availability of existing supply
  2. Enable and accelerate private investment in generation capacity
  3. Fast-track the procurement of new generation capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage
  4. Unleash businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar, and
  5. Fundamentally transform the electricity sector to achieve long-term energy security.

The Presidency said the report demonstrated progress had been made in all interventions since the announcement of the plan.

It said key achievements in the past six months included the return of three units at Kusile power station months ahead of schedule, and this together with intensive maintenance over the summer has increased the availability of Eskom’s existing fleet and reduced load-shedding. 

After the introduction of tax incentives and financing mechanisms, the amount of rooftop solar installed by businesses and households has more than doubled to more than 5,000MW. In December last year, three further bid windows were released for 7,615MW of new capacity from solar, wind, gas, and battery storage. 

The Presidency said Eskom also launched the cross-border standard offer programme, which will procure up to 1,000MW in additional power from neighbouring countries for three years. 

It said the first project from Eskom’s battery energy storage system programme has been connected to the grid, and will provide 100MWh of storage capacity.

“Seven other projects are in construction as part of phase 1 of the programme, which will together provide a total of 833MWh of capacity.” 

It said an additional 3,400MW of grid capacity has been immediately unlocked in the Cape region through the implementation of curtailment, which enables Eskom to fit more generation capacity onto the grid. 

“Government is working towards full implementation of the EAP to bring an end to load-shedding once and for all. The minister in the Presidency for electricity will continue to provide regular updates on progress to the public.” 

Meanwhile, Eskom announced on Wednesday afternoon that load-shedding will remain suspended until Sunday at 4pm. 

The power utility said this was due to the sustained available generation capacity and the planned return to service of 2,300MW of generation capacity by Friday, along with expected low demand over the long weekend. 


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