South Africa: Gwede Mantashe Condemns Us to Deepening Load Shedding

Minister Gwede Mantashe (file photo).
analysis

As a country that is sick and tired of load shedding, one hopes and prays our leaders will act boldly to solve a crisis that is plunging us into darkness and deepening economic turmoil. Our prayers, however, have not been answered. Certainly not by Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.

On Thursday, 18 March, Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe addressed the nation to announce the outcomes of the risk mitigation programme, which was meant to bring on energy in a hurry to help us address the energy crisis. The outcomes were deeply disappointing.

By way of context, Eskom has predicted dire load shedding will hit us this year and in the next five years. To solve it, one of the vital measures the power utility's CEO has supported is lifting the cap on licensing for renewable energy self-generation from 1MW to 50MW. It is the fastest, most affordable and efficient way to bring on new energy.

Eskom pleaded with Mantashe and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. Mantashe's response at the press conference was to say Eskom must stay in its lane and that regulation is his responsibility. However, it is a responsibility in which he is failing by not acting on...

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