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WATCH | Ramaphosa unveils 'big' energy plan

25 July 2022 - 20:47 By TIMESLIVE

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday unveiled government's plan to “fix Eskom and improve its existing fleet of power stations”.  

Ramaphosa listed a number of proposals, including Eskom increasing its budget for maintenance and new green energy projects. 

“We are cutting red tape that has made it difficult for Eskom to buy [the necessary equipment] for repairs,” said Ramaphosa, adding that this was one of the challenges he was told about during consultations with stakeholders. 

Eskom would construct its first solar and battery storage projects at Komati, Majuba, Lethabo and several other power stations.

“These will result in more than 500MW being added to the system,” Ramaphosa said. 

Eskom is also embarking on a drive to recruit skilled personnel, some of whom are former employees who left the parastatal for overseas companies. 

To support the grid, Eskom will acquire surplus energy from independent power producers and private entities. 

Eskom is also planning to import electricity from neighbouring countries that have surplus power. 

These are some of the solutions to be implemented after three weeks of rolling blackouts, which Ramaphosa said had inconvenienced millions and caused immense damage to the economy.

After a decade of unreliable electricity supply, South Africans were rightfully “angry and fed-up”. 

Ramaphosa said Eskom had experienced years of fraud and now even sabotage, but he was confident Eskom could be turned around. 

The proposed measures were “bold and decisive” and came after extensive consultations.

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