The DA welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, of the eight preferred bidders for the Risk Mitigation Emergency Power Procurement Programme (RMEPPP) to bring 2000MW of additional generation capacity online. This is long overdue and should have been put in place a year ago, shortly after it was first announced. South Africa desperately needs additional electricity now!
However, we remain concerned about the way the tender was structured with certain bidders in mind, and that exemptions and shortcuts appear to have been granted without proper interrogation and bypass checks and balances. We will interrogate these matters further through parliamentary questions and continued oversight.
The DA also welcomes the announcement by the Minister of the opening of bid window 5 of the renewable energy IPPs at midnight tonight. We have long pushed for government to open South Africa’s electricity grid and are therefore pleased that Minister Mantashe has finally heeded to this call.
No doubt this renewed push for IPPs has been brought about by the fallout from the recent bout of rolling blackouts and the upcoming Local Government Elections.
It remains to be seen whether the unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy in electricity regulation will be amended.
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