Government plans to stop the load shedding are not enough, ANC suggests

  • The ANC says the projects outlined in the government’s integrated resource plan will not be enough to end the burden reduction.
  • This is according to a draft economic policy document compiled by the ruling party.
  • It required that privately built facilities be designated as strategic infrastructure projects, which would make it easier for them to obtain environmental approval and that registration requirements be simplified.

South Africa needs to accelerate plans to generate more electricity, buy more energy from private producers and make it easier for power-hungry mining companies to build their plants, according to a draft economic policy paper compiled by the nation’s ruling party. .

The projects outlined in the government’s Integrated Resources Plan will not be enough to end the continuing blackouts and the energy project should be revised, the ANC said in the document seen by Bloomberg. It required that privately built facilities be designated as strategic infrastructure projects, which would make it easier for them to obtain environmental approval and that registration requirements be simplified.

“Policies are urgently needed to increase investment in electricity generation capacity and the energy mix by both public and private entities,” the party said in the latest version of one of several documents to be drafted ahead of its political conference. national team later this year. Regarding the purchase of more electricity by the state, “approvals should be shorter, the evaluation of the offer should be accelerated and the process of acquiring additional capacity from existing independent energy producers,” he said. affirmed.

ANC spokesman Pule Mabe did not respond to requests for comment on Friday. The document may undergo further changes before its presentation and will not necessarily be adopted at the conference.

Unable to meet demand

Africa’s most industrialized economy has been hit by intermittent power outages since 2008, with state utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. unable to meet the demand for its old and poorly maintained facilities. The outages this year are about to hit a record.

While President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration revived plans to buy more power from independent producers and made it easier for companies to build their own plants, developers continue to complain about excessive bureaucracy and grid access difficulties.

The ANC said investments in new plants could be accelerated if it were made clear that they do not require energy purchase agreements to move forward. He also called for a review of the guarantees that the government provides to companies that sell energy on the grid.

The party expressed concern about the high prices of oil products triggered by Russia’s war against Ukraine, saying they had reached “unsustainable levels” and called for an intensification of efforts to find oil and gas fields off the coast of South Africa. . Gasoline prices hit a record high in South Africa this year.

“The growing opposition to oil and gas exploration by anti-fossil fuel lobby groups needs to be addressed politically because it is clear that South Africa is well endowed with oil and gas, which could alleviate crises like the one we have in prices. elevated, “he said. Recent attempts to conduct so-called seismic surveys have been hampered by lawsuits, with one planned by Shell Plc suspended.

The party also wants state support for a biofuel program that could reduce the nation’s dependence on crude oil by at least 10 percent, create jobs in the sugar and sorghum industries, and improve the country’s balance of payments. The renewable fuel would be mixed with the engine fuel.

He also called on the government to provide support to the Central Energy Fund to purchase the out-of-service Sapref refinery from Shell and BP Plc, if an analysis shows that the transaction would benefit the economy.

– With the assistance of S’thembile Cele.