Govt’s hasty facilitation of privatisation of Eskom is economically counter-productive: Num

The National Union of Mineworkers (Num) says government’s hasty facilitation of the privatisation of Eskom is economically counter-productive.

The union’s statement follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Monday when he announced some of government’s measures to address the energy crisis in the country.

They include the procurement of additional electricity from independent power producers as well as countries such as Botswana and Zambia that have surplus power.

Num’s energy sector coordinator Khangela Baloyi says government’s determination to privatise Eskom will lead to job losses.

“That’s what we believe. Because when you give the private players to generate electricity, you are taking the market from Eskom. When you lift the threshold of 100 megawatts for companies to be allowed to build their own power station, you are actually taking away the customers of Eskom. [You are] taking away the ability [for] Eskom to make revenue … to make sure that Eskom is bankrupt and then you hand it over to private,” says Baloyi.

Below is Baloyi’s full interview on SAfm’s First Take programme:

Proposed ‘Energy Action Plan’ to end rolling blackouts:

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Ramaphosa’s announcement on Eskom welcomed

Energy experts have given the thumbs up to Ramaphosa’s announcement that Eskom will now be able to buy additional energy from independent power producers.

They say for the first time in 13 years, a proper diagnosis has been done and that there has never been an integrated plan to address the energy issues the country is facing.

Analysts are optimistic that the integrated approach by government will look at both short-term and long-term plans for generating more energy capacity.

They say that although the plan to buy additional power from renewable energy is a good one, there is still a long way to go to ensure its effectiveness and reliability.

Reaction to energy action plan to end SA’s power crisis:

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More funding for Eskom

President Ramaphosa says over the next 12 months Eskom will receive more funding to carry out critical maintenance.

The move will allow the power utility to improve the performance of its power stations by recruiting skilled personnel.

In a special address to the nation on Monday night, the President announced new measures to deal with the country’s energy crisis.

Ramaphosa gave Eskom 3 months to add new generation capacity to the grid on an urgent basis.

He says this will be achieved by buying energy from businesses, households and neighbouring countries.

“As part of addressing the shortage of megawatts, Eskom will now also purchase additional energy from existing private generators such as mines, paper mills, shopping centres and other private entities that have surplus power. A number of our neighbouring countries in Southern Africa, such as Botswana and Zambia, have more electricity capacity than they require.”

The President’s address is below:

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Source: SABC News (