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South Africa: Why Are We Being Kept in the Dark

Where are the bold steps that were promised in December 2019? Why is the ANC blocking municipalities from purchasing directly from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and the opening of the grid? Why did Minister Gwede Mantashe not raise the limit for exemptions from licensing of generation from 1MW to 10MW? Where is the negotiation with existing IPPs to take up excess supply? And why, in the name of all that is good, have we not opened REIPPP Bid Window 5 yet?

Dear Mr President,

Your letter “From the Desk of the President” of 28 September rightfully acknowledges the impact load shedding – or let’s call it what it really is: rolling blackouts – has on the lives of every South African.

From the economy, which according to some estimates loses R1-billion per day for every stage of load shedding, to the hospitals, which cannot perform surgeries or keep ventilators operating, to schools, which cannot teach and pupils who cannot learn. These are just a few of the real-world impacts of the failure of the state-owned electricity utility, Eskom.

To the government’s credit, there have been some positive developments of late. A request for proposals (RFP) was at long last issued…