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Monday, 08 July 2024 14:49

SA isn't quite out of the dark yet, Ramaphosa warns amid 100 day load shedding reprieve.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed Eskom's announcement of 100 days of no load shedding but warned against complacency as the electricity system remains vulnerable.

Last Friday marked 100 days since South Africa last experienced loadshedding, with Ramaphosa noting that this was the longest continuous period without loadshedding since 2020.

Writing in his weekly letter, Ramaphosa said the latest milestone reached in the structural reform journey is the commencement of trading last week of the National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA), which he said would own and operate the country's national electricity transmission system.

"This forms part of the reforms we have been driving to establish an electricity market that will enable competition, secure supply and revolutionise the energy sector," he explained.

He highlighted that as the Government of National Unity (GNU) began its work, it would sustain this momentum.

"For us to continue to implement the Energy Action Plan and support the hard-working management and staff of Eskom, who are day by day helping to bring us out of this crisis, we must all pull in the same direction," said Ramaphosa.

He explained that by focusing on the broader picture and by scaling up what had already been achieved, government was in a far better position to achieve the task it had set: end loadshedding and achieve an energy secure future.

"We have reached 100 days without loadshedding by working together. This should encourage us to redouble our efforts and to strengthen the collaboration between all stakeholders in both the public and private sectors," he said.

Ramaphosa highlighted that last week Eskom successfully commissioned Unit 5 at the Kusile power station, adding an additional 800 MW to the grid.

This followed the power utility's work to return three units at Kusile to service ahead of schedule, he said.

He explained that the improvement in the reliability of power supply had been a relief for households, who had been able to go about their daily lives without the inconvenience of loadshedding.

It had also been a great relief for businesses, he added.

"The latest consumer confidence index compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research found that the suspension of loadshedding was a factor that contributed towards increased consumer confidence in the second quarter of this year," Ramaphosa said.

This improvement, he said, was also a boost to the national economy, which was reliant on the availability and reliability of electricity supply for growth.

Meanwhile president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi had a phone call with Ramaphosa, during which he congratulated Ramaphosa on his electoral victory and assumption of a new presidential term.

 El-Sisi emphasized the continuation of cooperation between Egypt and South Africa in the upcoming period, which Ramaphosa appreciated.

The two presidents also reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing consultations between Egypt and South Africa, as well as between their respective leaderships, on matters of mutual concern.

They particularly emphasized the Palestinian issue and the current developments in the Gaza Strip, alongside issues impacting the African continent.Their aim is to advance the interests of both nations and reflect the deep historical ties that unite the peoples of Africa.