NPC rallies behind call for state of emergency to be declared amid power crisis

This comes on the back of yet another round of rolling power cuts, which has seen stage six load shedding implemented in recent weeks this time as a result of a wildcat strike at Eskom.

FILE: The NPC in a statement said the persistence of load shedding, 14 years after it was first introduced was concerning. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - The National Planning Commission (NPC) has thrown its voice behind the call for an “energy emergency” to be declared.

This comes on the back of yet another round of rolling power cuts, which has seen stage six load shedding implemented in recent weeks this time as a result of a wildcat strike at Eskom.

The NPC in a statement said the persistence of load shedding, 14 years after it was first introduced was concerning.

The NPC said the most immediate priority was ensuring that new generation capacity was rapidly and urgently brought onto the grid, together with significant new storage capacity.

It said evidence suggested we could do this in as little as 24 months if 10,000 megawatts of new generation capacity, as well as 5,000 megawatts of storage capacity, were rapidly constructed and commissioned; solar and wind power projects can also be completed within two to three years.

But it said ending load shedding needs to become a unifying national goal for the whole country and that everyone had to do their part to realise it.

The NPC said a declaration of an "energy emergency" was required to get around some of the red tape that was hampering new power generation.

“As far as the NPC is concerned what is needed is accelerated action and a sense of urgency,” Professor Mark Swilling - who sits on the NPC - said, “In our view, an energy emergency would make it possible, like happened during the pandemic, for the President to allocate responsibilities to address the challenge in the necessary urgent way."