“We are confident that the worst [of load-shedding] is behind us and the end of load shedding is finally within reach.”
This comment was made by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 2024 State of the Nation Address at Cape Town City Hall on Thursday.
Pointing the finger at the energy and logistic crises as the biggest inhibitors to growth in the country’s economy, Ramaphosa said that “through the National Energy Crisis committee, we have delivered on our commitments to bring substantial new power through private investment on the grid, which is already helping to reduce load-shedding.”
Private electricity generation, as well as private sector investment were alluded to (although briefly) as being the key driver to resolving the country’s power crisis.
“Since we revived our renewable energy programme five years ago, we have connected more than 2,500MW of solar and wind power to the grid, with three times this amount already in procurement or construction,” said Ramaphosa.
“Through tax incentives and financial support, we have more than doubled the amount of rooftop solar capacity installed across the country in just the past year,” he added.
Ramaphosa went on to assure that the government is reforming the energy system “to make it more competitive, sustainable and reliable into the future.”
“We are going to build more than 14,000km of new transmission lines to accommodate renewable energy over the coming years; To fast-track this process, we will enable private investment in transmission infrastructure through a variety of innovative investment models,” he said.
The speech fell short of alluding to why private investment in energy has seen such a boom. Three of the worst years of load-shedding have come under Ramaphosa’s five-year tenure, with 2023 seeing the worst year of loadshedding to date.