SA’s energy crisis to top agenda at Cabinet meeting

The country’s escalating energy crisis is expected to top the agenda of the Cabinet meeting which President Cyril Ramaphosa will chair on Wednesday.

Eskom which has continued with stage five rolling blackouts says it may reduce them to stage four by Thursday.

Ramaphosa has returned home after cutting short his international trip amid South Africa’s unresolved electricity problems.

The power utility has ramped up stages of rolling blackouts, which reached stage six at the weekend.

Research associate at Wits University, Gideon Chitanga, says Ramaphosa’s decision to cancel his attendance of the United Nations General Assembly makes sense.

Chitanga says, “It’s understandable that President Ramaphosa is back home. Heads of state that cannot attend can send their ministers of Foreign Affairs. I don’t think that this can be interpreted to mean that President Ramaphosa does not consider the assembly to be important. I think there are pressing issues at home.”

Energy plans

The Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mirelle Wenger, says the province is forging ahead with its energy plans, as the country faces an unprecedented electricity problem.

She tabled the province’s economic review and outlook for 2022-2023 on Tuesday, with a key focus on recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wenger tabled the budget before the provincial parliament, highlighting the importance of the agricultural and tourism sectors.

She says, “The agricultural sector’s growth has outperformed all others over the last 10 years. Between 2012 and 2021, real exports in the Western Cape expanded by almost 40%, with significant contributions from agriculture. As a global destination of choice, tourism is expected to rebound this year, exceeding 2019 figures in 2023.”

Wenger adds: “The Western Cape is pushing ahead with bold plans to be energy resilient and attracting high levels of renewable energy investment. A key focus will be to substantially increase fixed investment in the province with a specific emphasis on social infrastructure investments.”

VIDEO: Energy expert Prof. Sampson Mamphweli on Eskom failing to keep the lights on: 
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Source: SABC News (