• Ramaphosa outlines sweeping plans to deal with prolonged energy crisis in his country.
• South Africa looks towards Zambia to end load shedding.
• Angola and Zambia want to interconnect the electricity grids of two neighboring nations.
Energy Minister says South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to start importing electricity from Zambia to address prolonged energy crisis in his country will increase the ready market for Zambia’s power.
Peter Kapala disclosed that when Ramaphosa addressed the energy crisis in his country yesterday, he outlined sweeping plans to deal with a prolonged energy crisis and he looked towards Zambia for a solution.
Mr. Kapala further revealed that Angola and Zambia also want to interconnect the electricity grids of two neighboring nations and see the power supply from Zambia to Angola, at a time when, Zambia is producing electric energy beyond its consumption capacity.
He also said that the country is already exporting to Namibia and Zimbabwe.
In planning a way out of the crisis, Ramaphosa said the beleaguered public utility firm ESKOM, which generates more than 90 percent of the country’s energy, will increase the budget for critical maintenance and add new capacity to the grid on an urgent basis. Over the next three months, ESKOM will take additional actions to add new generation capacity to the grid on an urgent basis.
As part of addressing the shortage of megawatts and as an immediate measure, ESKOM will now purchase additional energy from existing private independent power producers or generators such as mines, paper mills, shopping centres and other private entities that have surplus power. These are power plants which built more capacity than was required and can now supply this excess power to ESKOM.
And as a medium term plan, Ramaphosa said his country would source power from Zambia.
“A number of our neighboring countries in Southern Africa, such as Botswana and Zambia, have more electricity capacity than they require. Eskom will now import power from these countries through the Southern African Power Pool arrangement,” Ramaphosa stated.
This month of July, South Africa endured almost two weeks of stage-6 load shedding, which entails multiple power cuts a day, each lasting between two and four hours.