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South Africa Set For Electricity Supply Boost, Electricity Ministry May Dissolve by 2024

Published March 13, 2024
2 months ago

South Africa's longstanding battle with power shortages may soon see a significant turn for the better, according to Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. This positive outlook follows Minister Ramokgopa's statement at the infrastructure conference hosted by Ninety One in Johannesburg. The minister indicated that an expected upswing in the electricity supply would result in the redundancy of his ministry by the end of 2024, a move that suggests a substantial improvement in the country's energy crisis.

Ramokgopa's role, specifically created to tackle South Africa's electricity issues, may cease to exist as the nation anticipates additional state electricity contributions towards the national grid. An extra 6,000 megawatts (MW) of power is expected to be integrated into the supply chain by the year's end, potentially enabling consistent and reliable power for citizens and businesses alike.

While addressing participants at the conference on Tuesday, Minister Ramokgopa optimistically remarked that his departure as a minister within three months would be welcome, envisioning a future where South Africans could reliably access electricity for necessities such as hot baths and cooked meals at home. His statement also hinted at the forthcoming integration of private investment in the expansion of South Africa's national transmission grid, with an announcement slated to occur in approximately a week.

The augmentation of the national grid, projected to cost about R390 billion, will not only enhance the country's power infrastructure but is also anticipated to open avenues for private sector involvement, potentially attracting significant investment in South Africa's energy sector.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to appoint Ramokgopa last year was part of a broader strategy to address the electricity crisis that has beleaguered the nation for 15 years. Power outages, sometimes extending beyond 10 hours a day, have hindered economic growth and have fueled discontent towards the African National Congress (ANC) government's handling of the economy, particularly as the country approaches national elections in May.

The expected improvement in electricity supply and the minister's optimistic projections are a sign of the government's commitment to resolving the issue which has become a central focal point for the country's progress.

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