Ramaphosa’s Energy Action Plan gets an F after achieving a paltry 16% success rate

Issued by Samantha Graham-Maré MP – DA Shadow Minister of Electricity
02 Aug 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Samantha Graham-Maré MP.

This week, to the great excitement of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Electricity Minister, Dr Ramokgopa and the National Energy Crisis Committee (NECOM) released the Electricity Action Plan report for the past 13 months.

The EAP, launched in July 2022 was to be the roadmap to end loadshedding as quickly as possible with additional planned interventions to promote the long-term sustainability of electricity supply in South Africa.  Along with the establishment of NECOM and the launch of the Plan, President Ramaphosa announced the appointment of a Minister of Electricity whose function was purely to address the energy crisis.  Part of this involved taking responsibility for the Energy Action Plan and its implementation.

One year later, a paltry 16% of the planned interventions have been achieved,  8 out of 50 action steps.  The prognosis on Ramaphosa’s energy action plan since its launch in August 2022 is dire:

  • 23 wind generation projects that failed to achieve preferred bidder status in the sixth bid window of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (Reippp) programme due to a lack of grid capacity in Eskom’s transmission grid in the Northern, Eastern and Western Cape.
  • At 56.28% the Energy Availability Factor, the current Eskom generation is 5.28% lower than the EAF of 59.28% for the same period last year.
  • Koeberg nuclear power station refurbishment has fallen behind schedule and there is now a real risk that both units could be taken off grid.

In addition, a review of the original Plan, the 6-month update from January 2023 and the latest update, reveals that while some of the planned interventions are on track to be achieved, several have disappeared entirely from the plan with no updates over the past 12 months.  This includes any reference to the Just Energy Transition Partnership which will leverage $8.5 billion for energy.  In a recent interview, it was made clear by the Minister of Energy that he is ideologically opposed to the idea of just energy transitioning and would prefer to retain coal-powered stations instead.  It is inconceivable that in the midst of a crisis, government would be fundamentally opposed to finding innovative ways to source energy which already carries a massive funding source.

And while the NECOM celebrates its extremely limited achievements, ESKOM’s latest 52 week forecast indicates that all but 3 weeks of the upcoming year are at a worst-case scenario for severe electricity shortages, resulting in high stages of load-shedding.  This flies in the face of the ongoing assurances from the ANC government that loadshedding will soon be a thing of the past.  If anything, it is only going to get worse, especially with the impending crisis at Koeberg, the overuse of Open Cycle Gas Turbines and the excessive spend already on diesel.

The ANC government must stop trying to spin their way out of the load-shedding crisis. South Africans want an immediate stop to power blackouts, and so far – the ANC has proved beyond any doubt that it does not have the solutions to fix the crisis.

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