Long-term so­lu­tion needed for Eskom

The Citizen (KZN) - - Opinion -

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa may have cut short his trip to Egypt to come back home to deal with the power cri­sis, but South Africans were still left with more ques­tions than an­swers af­ter gov­ern­ment re­vealed their “plan” to keep the lights on dur­ing the fes­tive pe­riod. Ramaphosa this week promised there will be no load shed­ding be­tween De­cem­ber 17 and Jan­uary 13 but ex­cuses from wet coal to ail­ing in­fra­struc­ture to sab­o­tage have done lit­tle to gain the pub­lic’s trust af­ter a fresh week of power cuts – a week that saw stage 6 load shed­ding im­ple­mented for the first time in our his­tory.

If you can cut through all the ex­cuses and the apolo­gies, one as­pect that is promis­ing from Wednesday’s press con­fer­ence at Eskom head­quar­ters is that gov­ern­ment could be open to the idea of al­low­ing the pri­vate sec­tor to gen­er­ate its own elec­tric­ity and sell it back into the grid – some­thing they have vo­cif­er­ously op­posed up to now.

“There are a num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions from the pri­vate sec­tor who have been say­ing ‘we want to gen­er­ate’. In the end what they don’t use they will be able to put back, or sell, into the grid,” Ramaphosa said. “Eskom’s board had rec­om­mended the step as one of sev­eral to gen­er­ate more ca­pac­ity and meet short­falls when age­ing power sta­tions were un­der­go­ing main­te­nance.”

The emer­gency re­cov­ery plan pro­posal will be pre­sented to Cab­i­net to­day.

We are be­yond cri­sis mode. Prom­ises that there will be no load shed­ding for just short of a month is no so­lu­tion. We need fresh ideas. We need long-term so­lu­tions to keep the lights on.

Fail­ure to find new so­lu­tions only leaves us with darker days ahead.

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