South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has allocated a range of powers to his electricity minister to enable him to address the nation’s energy crisis, almost three months after appointing him.
(Bloomberg) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has allocated a range of powers to his electricity minister to enable him to address the nation’s energy crisis, almost three months after appointing him.
Kgosientsho Ramokgopa will be able to determine which energy sources should be used to generate additional electricity and has been given the authority to enable private-sector participation in the procurement of new capacity, according to a statement from the Presidency.
The announcement transfers some responsibilities away from Gwede Mantashe, the energy minister, who has faced criticism for stifling the government’s efforts to transition away from the use of coal, which is used to produce most of the nation’s electricity, and buy more green energy.
Unions Rejects Eskom Wage Offer (May 26, 12:30 a.m.)
Three labor unions representing workers at Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. have rejected the embattled state utility’s latest offer of 5.25% wage increases.
Another round of pay talks with the National Union of Mineworkers, the National Union of Metalworks of South Africa and the Solidarity union will be held on June 13 and 14 in a bid to reach a settlement, Eskom said in a statement.
South Africa’s Commercial Capital Weighs Plan to Reduce Outages (May 25, 6:25 p.m.)
The power-distribution utility in South Africa’s commercial capital of Johannesburg will exclude key customers, essential services and some businesses from power cuts to reduce the fallout and attract investment.
The exemptions will start gradually from early next month, City Power said in a statement on Thursday. The changes come as the company considers a plan to cut daily outages for residents by half.
“Already most large power users and key business customers are excluded from loadshedding through the load curtailment agreements with the companies,” it said, referring to the local term for outages. “Other businesses, especially those in industrial areas and employ many people, will be gradually excluded owing to the reconfiguration of the network and other processes.”
Read More: South Africa’s Commercial Capital Weighs Plan to Reduce Outages
Lawmakers Back Eskom Debt Relief Bill (May 25, 6:26 p.m.)
Lawmakers approved a plan by the National Treasury to take on a portion of Eskom’s debt.
The finance minister will determine when loans will be advanced to the company, according to the draft law agreed by members of parliament in Cape Town on Thursday. The loans will be converted into Eskom ordinary shares that will be issued to the state, it said.
The bill will now go to Parliament’s other house, the National Council of Provinces, for a vote before being referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign into law.
Hospitals to Be Exempted from Power Cuts (May 25, 12:10 p.m.)
South Africa’s government identified 213 hospitals that will be excluded from power cuts, according to a statement detailing the outcome of a cabinet meeting on May 24.
Of that number, 76 health facilities are already excluded, and work is under way to add another 46 hospitals is at an “advanced stage,” the ministry said.
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