The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the eventual gazetting of the s34 determinations allowing the procurement of 11 813 MW of electricity and storage from independent power producers (IPPs).
More than two months have passed since the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) gave this procurement the green light, but Minister Gwede Mantashe has chosen to sit on the matter, despite the electricity crisis affecting our country.
The s34 determination will enable the procurement of 6800 MW of solar and wind generation, 3000 MW of gas generation, 1500 MW of coal generation and 513 MW of storage. It creates an implementing framework for the Integrated Resource Plan, adopted a year ago.
Sadly, the delays in getting to this point bode ill for the timeframe in which these new power plants will come online.
The DA calls on the IPP Office to speedily issue the necessary requests for proposals and open the next bid window for renewables.
If we are to ensure our economy is restored to a stable footing, we must safeguard and foster our energy security. This entails acting with speed to call for applications, and then processing those applications rapidly and efficiently.
South Africa cannot afford more delays or government interference in the electricity supply sector. If we are to break free from the shackles of the Eskom monopoly, IPPs must be encouraged and incentivized to take up the slack of the failing state-owned entity.
A further action step that must be implemented urgently is the unbundling of Eskom. Only by separating the transmission of electricity from the generation function, can we ensure a level playing field.
It was precisely this that the DA’s Independent Electricity Management Operator (IEMO) Bill sought to address, before it was rejected by the ANC in parliament. The DA will write to Minister Mantashe requesting a detailed timeline of the process, and that he provides the necessary leadership to NERSA and the IPP Office to drive this matter forward at pace.
South Africa needs electricity now!
Click here to read more about the DA’s plan to drive the cost of electricity down, introduce competition into the energy sector, and diversify the country’s energy sources to introduce more renewables, as well as our record of action on the electricity crisis over the last 8 years.