SA President sees transition as way to energy security
South Africa must embark on a “just energy transition” to stimulate greater investment as a way to overcome damaging electricity shortages, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa spoke at the conclusion of the ruling African National Congress’s National Executive Council meeting. “We will continue to pursue an energy mix which includes renewables, battery and pump storage, gas as a transition enabler, nuclear at a pace our country can afford, as well as explore carbon capture and use technologies,” he said.
Ramaphosa said plans to restructure state-controlled power company Eskom and resolve its unsustainable debt must be implemented on schedule to assist in strengthening public management of the national electricity grid.
Africa’s most industrialized economy experienced record outages last year. The nation’s energy supply has been patchy since 2005, with the loss-making Eskom struggling to keep pace with demand.
The government will examine the feasibility and affordability of providing ongoing income support for the poor and unemployed, Ramaphosa said.
The monthly grant introduced in 2020 to offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic was said to have had “significant positive impact on the lives of the poor, but more particularly the unemployed.”
In December, a South African panel recommended the country gradually implement a basic income grant, initially extending the Covid-19 support payments which are currently set to end in March.