Improved policy, regulation needed to help Eskom power SA, Brics Bank meeting told

Eskom

Patrick Dlamini was speaking during a panel discussion at the fourth annual meeting of the New Development Bank.

Without alternative power generation capacity, unemployment will remain rampant in South Africa, said Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) chief executive Patrick Dlamini on Tuesday.

“The policymakers, they have a decision to make to make sure that you can be able to enable and sustain the economy by coming up with measures that will ensure that there are other generators of power,” Dlamini said.

“Unless you begin to look at that, you going to continue to have unemployment in this country.”

Dlamini was speaking during a panel discussion at the fourth annual meeting of the New Development Bank (NDB), the multilateral bank set up to benefit projects in the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc of countries.

The DBSA CEO said Eskom was in a bind because of a number of factors – including low economic growth, planning inefficiencies, and legislation.

“Eskom is a creature of legislation. Our political principals in South Africa, how are they looking at this challenge? Why is it that municipalities and metros are limited in terms of going about generating their own capacity to generate power?

“Look at the Medupi and Kusile power stations. They are operating at some 30% of their design capacity. Again why did you allow it to happen because when you don’t have regulations that will deal with the rot and governance you are bound to have these kinds of issues…” said Dlamini.

On Monday, the NDB and Eskom signed a US$180 million loan agreement to connect 670MW of renewable energy projects to the national grid.

During this week’s meeting, the board of governors also approved a second amount of US$480 towards the retrofitting of the Medupi power station’s flue gas desulphurisation technology to limit emissions from the plant.