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There is urgency to act on SA's energy supply, says Ramaphosa

In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa has also assured South Africans that technicians were working around the clock to fix problems at several power stations to restore stability.

FILE: Cyril Ramaphosa urged residents to pay for their electricity usage, saying if they didn't, they were part of the problem. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has on Monday spoken out on the latest round of load shedding, acknowledging that there is an urgency, even more so now, to act on and protect the country's energy supply.

In his weekly newsletter released on Monday, Ramaphosa also assured South Africans that technicians were working around the clock to fix problems at several power stations to restore stability.

"While technicians are working around the clock to fix problems at several power stations and restore the grid to stability, government last week released the updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). It is our policy blueprint for the country’s industrial, commercial and household energy needs until 2030. It provides clarity and certainty on a crucial part of our development path," the president said.

South Africans may be getting a slight reprieve from load shedding for now but Ramaphosa said the cost the blackouts have on the economy was significant and contributed to investor unease.

The president also acknowledged that the sheer scale of Eskom's debt was daunting and that further bailouts were putting pressure on an already constrained fiscus.

Currently, the utility is owed R23.5 billion by defaulting municipalities.

Ramaphosa urged residents to pay for their electricity usage, saying if they didn't, they were part of the problem.

He said government would soon announce the appointment of a permanent Eskom CEO and a strong board to help turn the utility around: "They will be guided by the path set out in the special paper on Eskom, which will be released shortly."

To read Ramaphosa's full newsletter, click here.

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