Eskom to buy power from private producers, neighbouring countries to boost grid

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Eskom to buy power from private producers, neighbouring countries to boost grid

These were some of the new energy measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night as he tries to bring an end to rolling power cuts.

Eskom Megawatt Park. Picture Xanderleigh Dookey-Makhaza/Eyewitness News.
  • Eskom
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa
  • Load shedding

CAPE TOWN – Eskom will starting buying power from private producers to boost the national grid.

This was one of the new energy measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night as he tries to bring an end to rolling power cuts.

As well as setting up a new energy crisis committee, the plan is to bid for more renewable energies, lifting licencing requirements for private power producers and to allow solar-powered homes to sell excess electricity back to Eskom.

READ IN FULL: Ramaphosa on Eskom and the energy crisis

But first, Ramaphosa said that Eskom’s old fleet needs a big lick of paint.

“It has now been decided that over the next 12 months, Eskom will increase the budget allocated for critical maintenance to increase the reliability of its generation capacity,” Ramaphosa said.

And red tape will be cut to buy spares.

“This point was raised for me by the power station managers as they detailed to me how difficult it has been for them to repair the units that break from time to time,” the president said.

Ramaphosa said that South Africa’s neighbours would also assist.

“Neighbouring countries in southern Africa such as Botswana and Zambia have more electricity capacity than they require for their economies. Eskom will now import power from these countries through the southern African power pool arrangement,” the president said.

Skilled personnel are being called in.

“The utility is now recruiting skilled personnel, including former senior Eskom plant managers and engineers from the private sector,” Ramaphosa said.

WATCH: President Ramaphosa addresses nation on energy crisis

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