Rhamaphosa calls for competition to keep Eskom running

President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Wednesday 9 September spoke of the need to have competition on the power utility Eskom to keep it running. Lately Eskom has been struggling in preventing blackouts and load shedding.

Following a question about energy supply, Ramaphosa said there was need for government to address the energy crisis bedeviling the country.

“We’ve agreed that there should be self-generation. And there’s a regulation that says it has to be licenced, now that is in our laws, in our regulations,” he said adding that while government should be looking at a regulatory environment in Eskom’s best interest, there should be self-generation on the power utility’s side.

“Then again we’ve also agreed that there should be competition, there should be generation that will put Eskom on its toes so it is that regulatory environment that we need,” he said.

Commenting on the sidelines of the operations of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), President Rhamaphosa said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should be the number one priority in terms of getting things done.

“As we now go into the recovery process, we are now going to focus more on implementation and it will be directed from the president’s office. The implementation must happen from a central point so that there is proper coordination and through that, we will be hoping to increase the capacity of the State because then we focus on our priorities, then we focus on what needs to be done,” he added.

According to the power utility’s submission to the Standing Committee on Appropriations (SCOA) on Wednesday 2 September, besides rolling blackouts and various stages of load shedding, Eskom is suffering a shortfall of R350 billion based on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa’s) tariff decisions. This means that South Africans may need to pay up if efficiency in delivery would be anything to talk about at Eskom.

According to Eskom, debt continues to grow despite price hikes, meaning they may need to increase the tarrifs.

“The average price has increased five-fold whereas debt has grown by nearly 10-fold over the same window,” it said.

Survey by The World Bank in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) points out to the fact that Eskom ranks third lowest power utility with the lowest unit costs. Which then explains why they have myriad of challenges in their delivery of service.

Liberty Pazvakawambwa

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