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Zuma: 'Top priority' Eskom to get R23bn

Feb 12 2015 21:30

Cape Town - Overcoming the energy challenge faced by the state-owned power monopoly Eskom was "uppermost in our programme", President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

Addressing the opening of parliament State of the Nation speech - which was an hour late after EFF MPs were removed and DA MPs walked out - he said R23bn would be directed at Eskom to solve its financial problems in the next fiscal year.

"The country is experiencing serious energy constraints.... (it is an impediment to economic growth. It is a major inconvenience to everyone in the country."

He said government developed a plan which involves both short-, medium- and long term responses.

The short- and medium-term plan includes improvement of Eskom power stations, enhancing energy capacity and managing electricity demands, while the long-term plan focuses on a energy security master plan, he said.

Zuma said  the war room established by Cabinet is working diligently around the clock with Eskom to stabilise the electricity system an contain load shedding.

"During this period we have to work together to find solutions.

"We have to save electricity to reduce the need for load shedding. The department of public works has been instructed to ensure all government concerns are energy efficient."

Zuma also said Eskom has been directed to switch from diesel to gas as a source of energy for the utilities generators. Households are also being encouraged to switch from electricity to gas.

The quest for alternative energy sources is also ongoing. To date government as procured 4 000 MW from renewable sources.

Eskom itself has completed the construction of a renewable energy farm contributing to the grid.

Government also began procuring in December 2014 2 400 MW of new coal fired power generation capacity.


jacob zuma  |  state of the nation 2015


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