We support the comments made by two of our members, BLSA and Minerals Council SA, on the announcement by Minister Gordhan that ESKOM will 36000 hectares of its land in Mpumalanga to private sector generators of renewable energy. We also welcome the Minister’s and ESKOM management’s announcement that they will expedite access to the grid by independent power producers and other private sector players with the capability and capacity to produce renewable energy.
It is exactly this type of partnership between the public and private sector that BUSA has been appealing for in the course of the last 3 to 4 years. This initiative demonstrates the optimal utilization of appropriate public and private sector infrastructure and capacity to address the critical problem of energy supply. This is great for the economy, but also addresses the frustrations of ordinary people who experience load shedding on a regular basis.
BUSA has consistently called for necessary structural reforms in the economy to attract investment, put us on a sustainable inclusive growth path and address the socio-economic challenges we have. President Ramaphosa’s announcement a few months ago that the ceiling for embedded energy would be raised to 110MW was warmly welcomed by BUSA. The announcement on Wednesday 15th December 2021 by Minister Gordhan and ESKOM begins to give effect to the opening up of the energy sector to private sector players.
We also welcome this fresh and progressive approach from ESKOM. Andre de Ruyter has consistently maintained ESKOM must facilitate the entry of private sector players ion the energy market and enabling access to the grid of cleaner forms of energy. This announcement demonstrates that ESKOM has finally adopted an approach that moves away from a monopolization of the energy market. This is an essential step in applying the National Integrated Energy Plan and puts us on the long hard road to sustainably addressing SA’s energy crisis. This initiative must also be seen in the context of our country’s commitment to zero emissions and is a step in that direction.
BUSA urges other SOE’s to follow the example set by Minister Gordhan and ESKOM. We cannot, as a country, afford to waste resources and not use optimally all the capacity in the public and private sector, to grow our economy and improve people’s lives. We are convinced this type of a fresh approach from other critical SOE’s will unlock the full potential of the private sector and send a clear signal that government is beginning to implement the structural reforms urgently needed to attract investment and build our economy.
Business Unity SA CEO
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