Media release: Premier Winde cautiously welcomes President Ramaphosa’s “set of actions” to tackle the energy crisis, but the challenge remains the implementation of measures.
After a lengthy wait, President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has finally announced his government’s plan to tackle the long-running and damaging energy crisis.
The Premier said: “I cautiously welcome last night’s announcement, but it is long overdue and speedy implementation is now critical.”
“While we are certainly not out of the dark just yet, all interventions, rolled out efficiently and in an accountable manner, are needed to end this crisis,” he said.
Premier Winde is of the view that collaboration is key to addressing this crisis: “The Western Cape Government is willing to work with National Government, local government, Eskom and the private sector to help deliver on what is needed. We will also play our part by driving our province’s energy resilience.”
“Western Cape residents are indeed justifiably angry, after more than a decade of load shedding, so now is the time for action,” the Premier remarked.
Premier Winde welcomed the move to increase Eskom’s maintenance budget over the next several months, along with the acknowledgment of the importance of renewables, as well as completely removing the licensing threshold of 100 MW for embedded generation.
Eskom has identified land in Mpumalanga to accelerate the development of renewable energy operations. “We will also be approaching Eskom to see what land can be identified in the Western Cape, for the same purpose,” said Winde.
Winde continued: “It is currently not clear whether the proposed streamlining of legislation and regulations includes processes for municipal IPP procurement. This will need to be clarified. In the Western Cape, we are working closely with municipalities so that they can develop the capacity to procure directly from IPPs, through our Municipal Energy Resilience Programme, and so this is important.”
Commenting on the skills-gap that exists at Eskom, the Premier said: “I am pleased with the intention to bring back former employees to the utility to try to fill the skills shortfall.”
The Premier called on every former Eskom employee in the Western Cape to seriously consider going back to work at Eskom, for the sake of the country.
But Winde is alarmed at the ongoing crime affecting the power company. He said: “I am disturbed at the sabotage, corruption, and fraud at Eskom. Those responsible for these offences must be arrested and speedily prosecuted.”