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Gigaba: Govt committed to renewable power despite Eskom's cost claims

Apr 19 2017 18:45
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – New Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said government is still committed to its renewable energy independent power producer programme (REIPPP) despite claims by Eskom that it is costly.

Gigaba was speaking to journalists at a briefing ahead of his trip to the US for the IMF/World Bank Spring Meeting this week.

Gigaba was answering a question about government’s stance on the REIPPP, following the new Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi's decision to delay the signing off of Eskom's Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with key renewable energy IPPs on Tuesday.

Gigaba said government’s policy regarding IPPs “remains unchanged”. “Cabinet is committed to the renewable energy outcomes outlined in the IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) 2010.”

Gigaba went on to say that concerns about agreements need to be raised with the shareholder, which is government, by following the correct channels.

Eskom had to go to the minister of public enterprises and raise their concerns and then collectively share those concerns with Treasury, he explained. He warned that a single person cannot make decisions concerning shareholders, that being government.

“There is no single entity of government that can make policy pronouncements on behalf of Cabinet, otherwise, that will turn us into a Mickey Mouse organisation,” said Gigaba.

READ: New energy minister delays IPP signing amid protest from unions

Among the reasons given for the delay in the signing of the agreement, according to the SA Renewable Energy Council (Sarec), is that Kubayi wants to meet with Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

Eskom had delayed the signing of new PPAs for almost two years over concerns of costs and because the utility didn't require additional power due to a surplus of supply, Fin24 reported. 

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