South Africa settled to allow businesses to generate their own electricity.
South Africa made the decision due to the growing disappointment business faced as a result of the constant power outages in the country. The outages has affected economic output and weakened investor confidence in one of Africa’s most industrialized economy.
Power dependent companies such as mines built their own renewable energy plants to reduce their dependence on Eskom even without the necessary regulatory approvals.
“It is high time the country embraces the fact that there are those companies and households that want to generate their own energy. For the first time we are now saying let us have self-generation. We cannot stop technology, we cannot stop the future from arriving hence we have opened up a new era,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa.
South Africa’s mining industry body the Minerals Council recently urged the government to act promptly to bring online new power sources and ease licensing rules, because according to Roger Baxter, chief executive of the Minerals Council, miners could build between 500MW and 1,500MW of their own generating capacity over the next few years if regulations were eased.
Eskom generates more than 90% of the country’s electricity but is struggling to meet demand because of breakdowns at its coal-fired power plants. Unfortunately, the government has been slow to secure adequate power since the severe electricity cuts last year.
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