Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is encouraged by President Ramaphosa’s comprehensive energy plans announced today, which they hope will be implemented with focus and speed.
Cas Coovadia, CEO of BUSA, says: “We met with the President last week, where he shared Government’s immediate and long-term plans for stabilising and securing the country’s energy supply, and are pleased that most proposals from energy experts and the private sector were considered. Simply put, the country needs to bring on as much generation capacity as possible, in as short a time as possible to close the 6GW energy gap, and this plan is a concrete step towards achieving this. What is still required is a clear execution plan, set against hard deadlines and accountability for delivery. The country and the business sector will benefit from regular and transparent progress reports, so it can track and plan accordingly.
“Tonight, the President called for Business to rally its support, as we did when we deployed our capacity, skills and resources working directly with Government during the national vaccine rollout programme. Business has consistently indicated its readiness to help fast track these energy crisis interventions and look forward to collaborating with the President’s National Energy Crisis Committee which will focus on driving implementation of this excellent package of interventions. While we encourage urgency in beginning to implement these complex reforms, we recognise that patience and endurance will be needed; getting rid of load-shedding will take time.”
BUSA particularly welcomed the removal of the need to licence embedded private sector generation capacity, a clear focus on removing, wherever possible, wider regulatory and red tape blockages within the existing law, the use of new legislation to unblock other red tape issues and the creation of a one-stop-shop for energy application approvals. The use of new pricing structures to incentivise a huge investment in commercial and household rooftop generation is also an extremely important new step, and comes in addition to Eskom procuring existing, surplus power from IPPs. BUSA says that these steps, to support private sector investment, are particularly important given the challenges that fixing Eskom’s existing plant will face.
Martin Kingston, who chairs B4SA’s steering committee, which has been re-mobilised as BUSA’s implementation arm, says: “This plan offers a blueprint for action and partnership. However, throughout this process, key enabling factors must not be forgotten, notably the rapid investment required in our transmission grid, and the need for a standardised wheeling framework. These are critical to ensuring the success of the interventions announced tonight.
“We believe, with hard work and a focus on implementation, together we can profoundly shift the trajectory of our country’s future in a positive direction. While there are many areas of our economy that require urgent reforms, notably water security, logistics, infrastructure, and crime, none is as critical as energy availability, which is needed to unlock economic growth, investment, and jobs, which will put the country back on the path to success.”
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