Johannesburg -The country needs
more electricity capacity in the short term, Business Leadership SA (BLSA) said
This is because electricity supply affects business plans,
the way business operates, and the way business views opportunities in South
Africa, said BLSA energy spokesperson Jayendra Naidoo.
He was speaking at a media briefing following BLSA's April
Naidoo said that at
the board meeting BLSA had discussed how it would engage with both power utility Eskom and
"We need to discuss how to mitigate the shortfalls in electricity
supply in the short term and we need to discuss how to resolve SA's long-term
energy requirements," Naidoo said.
He said another objective of business was to ensure that
Eskom was efficient, even though there would be opportunities for power generation
in the public sector.
"It is no secret that between now and 2030 some 40 000
more megawatts must be installed on top of the 43 500 megawatts we have now,"
Naidoo said, acknowledging that these targets "may change a bit".
Eskom's Medupi and Kusile power stations would contribute
less than 25% of the figure.
"We're very concerned about the increased demand for
power and with all the current initiatives on the table, we're still going to be
sitting on the edge of our seats in terms of the reserve margin... so there is
a need for more power and better usage of power."
Naidoo said BLSA had found it might be possible to create an added capacity of 5 000 megawatts, not through business saving or cutting
back on gross domestic product growth, but through initiatives such as
co-generation and renewables.
He said BLSA, which represents 80 large companies including multi-nationals,
wished to share its experience with Eskom.
It also wanted to see the asset base of Eskom increased to
match global benchmarks.
"We have an agenda of things that can be done... Resources
lie in the hands of suppliers and users who are part of the business world."
BLSA chief executive officer Michael Spicer said foreign investment
in the energy sector would increase the availability of capital.
"But foreign and local investment have the same sort of
parameters... Projects requiring investment must have an adequate return."
Naidoo said BLSA had held discussions with nuclear power producers
and they were satisfied with South Africa's current electricity tariffs.
"They've said in conversation that 25% times three is adequate."
Earlier this year, the National Energy Regulator of SA
granted Eskom an increase in tariffs to 24.8 percent in 2010/2011, 25.8% in 2011/2012
and an increase of 25.4% in 2012/2013.
Naidoo said BLSA was aware that there were risks that Eskom depended
entirely on coal.
"We are therefore supportive of government's efforts to
reduce emissions and change the energy mix... We are supportive of the rapid
deployment of new, cost effective power such as nuclear, solar and wind
- I-Net Bridge