In a recent announcement, Deputy President Paul Mashatile underlined South Africa’s commitment to securing emergency power sources as a solution to the pressing issue of load shedding. The bold plan envisions utilizing power ships to alleviate power shortages, in addition to maintaining current power stations operational.
Embracing Power Ships in the Battle against Load Shedding
In a progressive decision, Transport Minister Sindi Chikunga has greenlit Karpowerships to anchor in Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay, and Ngqura in the Eastern Cape. This comes as a part of South Africa’s novel strategy to maintain consistent power supply during its transition to cleaner energy sources.
Power Stations Here to Stay
During a visit to East London, Mashatile firmly stated that there are no plans to decommission existing power stations. He reinforced the government’s determination to avoid “transitioning in the dark”, demonstrating their commitment to keep the lights on.
Pacing the Shift to Clean Energy
While Mashatile acknowledged the urgency of shifting from coal to cleaner energy, he advocated for a gradual transition. The Deputy President voiced his concerns about rushing the process, asserting that South Africa’s move towards sustainable energy will be executed at a pace that suits the nation’s needs.
Addressing the Impact of Load Shedding
Mashatile openly recognized the significant burden that load shedding has placed on households, businesses, and the economy as a whole. However, he reassured the public that the government is not taking the situation lightly, with plans to secure emergency power.
The Government’s Determined Response
In his words, “We are taking concrete steps. Emergency power procurement is one of our pivotal strategies. It’s a measure that echoes the approach of Mr. Gwede Mantashe, despite the opposition he faced. It won’t be surprising to spot a ship docked nearby soon, indicating our active steps to ensure uninterrupted power supply,” explained Mashatile.
Solidifying Stance on Coal-Fired Power Stations
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa have confirmed their stance against decommissioning coal-fired power stations. Instead, they aim to implement the Just Energy Transition, but in a measured manner suited to South Africa’s specific requirements.
Mapping the Future of South Africa’s Energy Sector
Mashatile shed light on the country’s path towards cleaner energy, stating, “We’ll capitalize on our coal reserves while progressing towards cleaner energy solutions. There’s talk of shutting down our power stations; however, we’ll phase them out gradually, ensuring that we harness the energy they generate to power our economy.”
The Deputy President reiterated that South Africa is not resisting the global clean energy trend, but emphasized the country’s commitment to a transition that respects its unique circumstances. “The President is clear – our pace, our interests. Our foremost interest? Securing sufficient energy for our people,” Mashatile concluded.