South African President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about the government’s discussions to resolve the ongoing energy crisis by building another state-owned power station.
Ramaphosa said in a statement that Eskom’s monopoly on electricity supply poses a “risk” to the South African economy as it cannot meet its energy demand.
He said that Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, has proposed the establishment of a second state-owned electricity company.
Ramaphosa stated that he agreed with Gwede Mantashe that the time has come for another state-owned power company adding, “It is a risk to have one electricity (provider) owned by the State.”
Ramaphosa said South Africa should look east and adopt a model of multiple state-owned power utility companies, such as had been done in China.
China has at least five large, state-owned power utilities, which generate electricity from multiple sources such as coal, gas, oil, solar, wind and nuclear.
Also, China’s struggle with a severe shortage of electricity in 2021 left millions of homes and businesses in the dark as the country tried to reduce its reliance on coal, which is responsible for more than half of its power sets an example.
China has a number of state-owned power companies competing among themselves, causing prices to drop. This is the application we should take as an example.
“We are at risk with Eskom, a company that generates electricity with a former coal fleet. Today, we are faced with big problems as we give all responsibility for electricity generation to a single company.”