Mantashe: We won't do away with load shedding in a day

Mantashe: We won't do away with load shedding in a day

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says Eskom won't be able to do away with load shedding overnight.

Gwede Mantashe on load shedding June 2021

Mantashe moved to clarify the country's electricity outlook after government eased regulations for embedded generation.

On Thursday, Mantashe joined President Cyril Ramaphosa in announcing that companies would be allowed to produce up to 100MW of their own electricity without a licence from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

READ: Ramaphosa announces measures to ease power woes

But it could still take some time before the pressure is eased from Eskom.

"I want to put a little bit of a brake on this belief that the President has made an announcement today, there will [be] no load shedding tomorrow. No, it doesn't work that way," warned Mantashe.

"The new capacity that will have to be built, people will have to build the facilities. It will take some time."

The country has faced rolling blackouts for several days on end.

Eskom ramped-up load shedding to Stage 4 on Wednesday but later eased the power cuts to Stage 2 and 3.

READ: Load shedding stages: Here's how it affects you

"We must not create an impression that will create a revolt tomorrow," Mantashe said.

He added the amendments to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act will greatly benefit the mining industry.

Minerals Council South Africa welcomed the move by government.

The council's spokesperson Charmane Russell believes the amendments have the potential of raining the country's overall growth rate.

"As an industry, we are committed to working closely with the DMRE and Eskom to ensure that this excellent starting point can rapidly bring to fruition around 1.6GW of largely renewable and private sector funded embedded generation projects that our members are already planning.

"We're very welcoming of this news," she added.

READ: Energy expert warns of ‘dire consequences’ if Eskom implements Stage 6 load shedding

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