Quick Action on Energy Crisis: Government’s Electricity State of Disaster Plan
As South Africa faces an electricity state of disaster, the government is taking swift action to alleviate the situation. The plan includes:
- Faster authorization for land use for energy generation
- Facilitating international assistance
- Streamlining regulatory processes
- Issuing public service announcements at no cost
Land Use Authorization and International Assistance
To generate energy more efficiently, the government is expediting land use authorizations and seeking international assistance to help minimize the impact of the current state of disaster.
Streamlined Regulatory Processes
The government aims to simplify and speed up application and decision-making procedures for energy generation projects by:
- Designating a single department or institution for application processing
- Setting maximum time frames for decision-making
Exemptions and Approvals
Land use for energy generation will be authorized under the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act of 1970 and the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act of 2013.
Public Service Announcements
Mobile operators and broadcasters will provide free public service announcements regarding the national state of disaster.
Electricity Sales and Imports
The regulations will facilitate the sale of electricity generated by individuals, state entities, or private institutions to Eskom or municipal distributors. Eskom will also import electricity from neighboring countries following emergency procurement procedures.
Additional Plans: Minimizing the Impact
The government is focusing on minimizing the impact of load shedding on various sectors, including:
- Livelihoods and the economy
- Policing functions and national security
- Education and health services
- Water services and food security
- Communications and municipal services
Addressing Electricity Shortfall and Preventing Worsening Energy Situation
Cabinet ministers can issue directions within their focus areas to tackle the electricity shortfall and prevent further deterioration. They can support specific areas requiring “protection,” such as critical water infrastructure and health facilities.
Emergency Procurement and Reporting
The regulations enable emergency procurement in line with existing financial acts. Accounting officers will be required to report expenditure at regular intervals to the Auditor-General and Parliament.
Confidence in the Regulations
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele expressed confidence in the regulations, stating that they represent the best available options to address South Africa’s energy challenges within the limited resources available.