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SA will embrace private power generation – President

‘We cannot stop technology, we cannot stop the future from arriving’.

South Africa will embrace efforts by businesses to generate their own electricity, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday, reacting to growing frustration at red tape throttling private power generation.

Ramaphosa is under pressure over nationwide power cuts that have dented economic output and sapped investor confidence in Africa‘s most industrialised economy.

Ailing state-owned utility Eskom generates more than 90% of the country’s electricity but regularly struggles to meet demand because of breakdowns at its coal-fired power plants.

Many power-hungry companies such as mines want to build their own renewable energy plants to reduce their reliance on Eskom but have not been able to secure the necessary regulatory approvals.

“For the first time we are now saying let us have self-generation,” Ramaphosa told an economic conference in Johannesburg.

“We have opened up a new era … that says we are now embracing the fact there are those companies and households that want to generate their own energy.”

“We cannot stop technology, we cannot stop the future from arriving,” he added.

South Africa‘s mining industry body the Minerals Council on Monday urged the government to act urgently to bring online new power sources and ease licensing rules.

Roger Baxter, chief executive of the Minerals Council, told Reuters last month that miners could build between 500 megawatts (MW) and 1,500 MW of their own generating capacity over the next few years if regulations were eased.

Ramaphosa’s government has been slow to procure more power since the electricity cuts escalated last year.

Some labour unions and members of Ramaphosa’s governing African National Congress party are deeply suspicious of allowing in more independent power producers. A vocal coal lobby has also blamed renewable energy firms for hastening Eskom’s financial decline.

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“we cannot stop the future from arriving”, but “we” hold for life and death onto history, “we” are walking backwards into the future. Politicians are not of an industrious mindset, they normally speak just for themselves. So I presume the “we” is mostly the political elite of all parties (400 in parliament earn R1.2m/year + + + +).
Will a blind man not lead everyone into a ditch? How come “we” speak and speak, but jobs are lost at a rate of 1 000 000 for 2019? Are they also part of “we” floating further into the group of inequality?

Sigh – if government had listened to reason and not the unions these private power stations would have been up and running by now. If I were the mines I would be tempted to build anyway and ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Permission arrives about 10 years to late.
With proper regulation we could have a thriving cannabis industry, but by the time the government gives permission to use this African plant the Canadians and other nations will have taken all the opportunities – Sigh

At last – a rational comment from the ANC!! The whole world is shifting towards renewables. Here in SA we have ample supplies of sunshine and wind (a 3000 kms coastline ALWAYS has wind somewhere). But we try to keep a dinosaur alive – while we destroy South Africa in the process. And if the govt doesn’t move its backside fast, companies and private individuals need to simply effect an Arab Spring, and just go ahead and install their own generating power. We can’t be held back by people wanting to fill their own pockets at the expense of the rest of South Africa. You can’t stop the march of technology.

Just close the mines until the legislation is passed …..

Hooray! Wow. Wonderful news. South aFrica can now celebrate a progressive ruling party policy. When?

LOL! Yes, of course. Well done squirrel ! Another promise. Give us another one!

Do Ramaphosa and Mantashe talk? Let’s hope he gets the message this time.

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