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Energy Minister: Electricity crisis a top priority

Tina Joemat-Pettersson says Cabinet has adopted a five-point plan to address the power crunch.

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

CAPE TOWN - Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says resolving the country's electricity crisis is at the top of government's priority list.

The country is facing electricity shortages with Eskom initiating power cuts on a regular basis to keep up with demand amid crucial maintenance.

Joemat-Pettersson is delivering her department's budget vote in the National Assembly.

The minister says Cabinet has adopted a five-point plan to address the power crunch.

Speaking during her budget vote in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Joemat-Pettersson said Cabinet was working on an integrated energy plan that would inform policy on energy issues.

In the meantime, the government is looking to increase the energy supplied by independent power producers.

Joemat-Pettersson said this would add about 17,000 megawatts of renewable energy to the grid by 2022.

OPPOSITION PARTIES DIFFER

Opposition parties say they have no confidence in the minister's ability to deal with South Africa's crippling power crisis.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Ian Ollis has delivered the official opposition's response to the energy budget.

He says the DA expected a show of leadership from Joemat-Pettersson and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

Ollis claims load shedding has led to a drop of 0.4 percent in GDP in the first quarter of 2015.

The Economic Freedom Fighters Marshall Dlamini says Joemat-Pettersson is clueless about her portfolio and cannot brief MPs clearly on energy matters.

Dlamini further says the party has no confidence in her ability to deal with the energy crisis.

Meanwhile, Eskom has announced load shedding once again from 4pm this afternoon, with stage two to follow shortly after.

#Eskom regrets to announce that Stage 1 #load_shedding will be implemented from 16:00 to 17:00.

Please note that Stage 2 #load_shedding will be implemented from 17:00 until 22:00. #Eskom sincerely apologises for the inconvenience.

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