Eskom’s Financial Crisis:
Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa pulled no punches during the recent BRICS Summit in Sandton, revealing a daunting figure. For Eskom to robustly expand and bolster South Africa’s teetering power grid, a whopping sum of over R200 billion is on the cards.
The Scale and Speed Challenge:
Not new to the airwaves, Ramokgopa reiterated a past confession: Eskom’s coffers just aren’t deep enough to finance the electricity generation at the demanded pace. He emphasized, “the power utility couldn’t finance electricity generation on the scale and speed at which it needed to be done.”
Load Shedding Woes:
While the corridors of power buzz with potential solutions and deals to counter generation hitches, regular folks and businesses grapple with relentless load shedding cycles.
BRICS To The Rescue?
Despite the grim backdrop, Ramokgopa’s spirits remain lifted. He’s optimistic about collaborations with BRICS nations, especially leveraging their financial might. Pinning hopes on China, he remarked, “So China will help us to solve the problem in many ways. On the generation side, China has already got existing technology to reduce the emission levels coming out of our coal-fired power stations.”
Mapping Out Eskom’s Future:
The roadmap isn’t entirely sketched yet. Ramokgopa hints at budding financial plans, underlining a stark comparison: “in the past ten years, we expanded transmission by about 4,000 kilometres – in the next ten years, for us to be able to accommodate the renewable energy sources, we need to expand it by about 14,000 kilometres. The Eskom balance sheet will not be able to carry that.”