South Africa has approved the promulgation of its long-delayed plan for electricity generation until 2030, a cabinet statement said.
The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) must still be publicly gazetted, it said.
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe will on Friday brief the media on the plan.
The IRP is a national electricity infrastructure development plan based on least cost-electricity supply and demand balance, that considers security of supply and the environment, according to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Business Unity South Africa (Busa) urged the expedited gazetting of a “least-cost, least-regret [IRP] option that identifies the optimal energy sources required to power the economy and sustain
and create jobs,” adding that this would be the first step towards the energy sector’s stabilisation.
“The IRP has been subject to a substantive Nedlac process, and any further delay will prejudice urgent procurement and investment decisions that are necessary to ensure electricity supply security and the avoidance of further load-shedding. As the first quarter GDP results show, load-shedding significantly damages economic growth. The gazetting of the IRP needs to be followed by an immediate ministerial determination for the procurement of new generation capacity,” the business lobby group stated.
Bianca Botes, Treasury Partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions says the news is a great relief after months of uncertainty, “in the midst of yet another round of load shedding implemented by Eskom on Wednesday, which is expected to last well into next week. The financial situation of Eskom and its ability to sustain electricity supply to SA will ultimately drive foreign direct investment as well as economic growth in this country,” she added.
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Africa’s most industrialised economy faced a second consecutive day of power cuts on Thursday.