Significant Strides in Combatting Load Shedding, Reports Energy Council CEO

A Brighter Future on the Horizon

In a recent gathering in Cape Town, James MacKay, CEO of the Energy Council of South Africa, delivered optimistic news about the country’s battle against load shedding. Speaking at an event organized by Innovate UK and UK International Development, ahead of the Africa Energy Indaba, MacKay shared that South Africa has seen a dramatic reduction in load shedding hours by 67% in just over three months.

Key Achievements:

  • Engineering Expertise: The significant drop is credited to the infusion of seasoned engineers into Eskom’s workforce, thanks to the business sector’s support.
  • Renewable Revolution: A swift escalation in the country’s renewable energy capacity plays a crucial role.

Optimism Amidst Obstacles: MacKay voiced strong confidence in overcoming the load shedding challenge, praising the burgeoning private-sector led renewable energy development as a game-changer. Despite concerns about potential transmission grid limitations, he stands firm in his belief that these will not impede progress.

Beyond Load Shedding: Addressing climate change remains a pivotal focus, with a universal commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions within the Energy Council’s membership. MacKay emphasizes the broader notion of sustainability, incorporating economic, social, and environmental pillars, underscoring the imperative to not only conquer load shedding but also foster a sustainable energy landscape.

Municipal Matters: A notable hurdle in this journey is the lack of proactive measures from most municipalities to tackle load shedding or embrace sustainability, with MacKay highlighting that 167 municipalities are without a solid plan. A new model for municipal engagement is urgently needed.

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Energy Council’s Role: As a representative body encompassing both the private sector and state-owned entities like Eskom, the Energy Council is at the forefront of advocating for and implementing strategies to secure a stable, sustainable energy future for South Africa.