Speaking during his state of the nation address for 2022, the president acknowledged that the current power situation presented one of the greatest threats to economic and social progress.
“Load-shedding continues to have a huge impact on the lives of South Africans, disrupting businesses and putting a strain on our families,” Ramaphosa stated.
Echoing previous warnings from state-owned power utility Eskom, Ramaphosa said the country had a generation shortfall of around 4,000MW.
The president blamed this on ageing power stations, poor maintenance, and the ruinous effects of state capture.
He also stated that his government had taken “firm steps” to bring additional generation online as quickly as possible to close the shortfall.
As a result, Ramaphosa said the following generation capacity would come online in the next few years:
500MW of remaining projects at an advanced stage from Bid Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP)
2,600MW from Bid Window 5 of the REIPPP for which preferred bidders have been announced
2,600MW from Bid Window 6 of the REIPPP which will soon be opened to bidders
800MW from the emergency risk mitigation programme that is ready to proceed
3,000MW of gas power, with requests for proposals later this year
500MW battery storage, with requests for proposals later this year
4,000MW embedded generation from mines
1,400MW of independent power secured by municipalities
In total, these projects should contribute a further 15,400MW of capacity.
Ramaphosa said that radical amendments made to Electricity Regulation Act were recently published for public comment.
“These far-reaching amendments will enable a competitive market for electricity generation and the establishment of an independent state-owned transmission company,” he stated.
Ramaphosa said Eskom’s separate transmission subsidiary was on track to complete unbundling by the end of 2022.