Government to tackle ageing infrastructure crisis

Acting president Jeff Radebe. Photo: Twitter

The government is planning to tackle South Africa’s ageing electricity infrastructure crisis, acting president and energy minister Jeff Radebe announced on Tuesday.

He said ageing infrastructure remained an issue in providing electricity to most parts of the country.

“The issue of ageing network infrastructure remains a concern, as it compounds the supply and also limits our ability to expand electricity access to all,” Radebe said.

Radebe was speaking at the African Utility Week conference in Cape Town.

He said his department has recently completed a study on the electrification backlog.

African Utility Week is a platform during which the government will reflect on energy-related issues.

Radebe said work is underway to find the most effective way to upgrade and maintain existing networks as well as moving forward.

According to South Africa’s electricity generation infrastructure plan, various sources such as renewables and coal will be contributing to the country’s electricity grid by 2030.

The department has also launched a renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme (REIPPPP).

To date, the programme has concluded 91 projects with a capacity of 6 300 MW. Of these, 62 projects with a combined capacity of 3 800 MW have already been connected to the grid.

Through the project, about R136 billion has been invested in the South African economy.

Another R58 billion will be invested over the next three to five years when construction of 27 projects signed in May commences.

“Through the programme, South Africa has achieved close to 23 million tons of carbon dioxide (Mton CO2) reduction and saved a substantial amount of water in a water scarce country,” the department said.

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  AUTHOR
Thato Mahlangu
Journalist

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