President Cyril Ramaphosa’s energy action plan to tackle South Africa’s power crisis has been widely welcomed by energy experts but faces mixed reactions from trade unions.
The president addressed the nation on Monday night, announcing actions to respond to the energy crisis that has negatively impacted the country for years.
In his address, Ramaphosa indicated that the government had consulted widely to get the buy-in from different role players to solve the country’s energy challenges, citing labour, the private sector and political parties among the stakeholders consulted.
However, the South African federation of trade unions – Saftu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi says they were not consulted in the decision. But Cosatu says they were consulted in the process.
Ramaphosa’s plan for energy reform includes:
- Improving the performance of Eskom’s existing fleet of power stations.
- Accelerating the procurement of new capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage.
- Increasing private investment generation capacity.
- Enabling businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar.
- Fundamentally transforming the electricity sector and positioning it for future sustainability.
Speaking to Radio Islam, energy expert Chris Yelland says the decision by the government addresses the concerns over the energy crisis, however it is up to implementation now.