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Government has assured citizens that efforts are being made to resolve the energy challenge faced by the country.

This comes after the recent load shedding that was implemented by Eskom.

“Cabinet is aware of the negative socio-economic impact, disruption and inconvenience caused by load shedding to ordinary citizens and businesses over the past few weeks.

“Every effort is being made to resolve current energy challenges and bring new power generation capacity online in the shortest possible time, which is fundamental to South Africa’s economic recovery,” Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said on Thursday.

Addressing members of the media on the outcomes of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, the Minister said government continues to support concerted efforts to stabilise Eskom and set it on a sustainable growth path.

Cabinet has welcomed the announcement by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, of eight preferred bidders to provide an additional 2 000 megawatts of emergency electricity that will help support the national grid over the short-term.

The preferred bidders from the Independent Power Producer Programme are expected to source energy from solar, wind, liquefied natural gas and battery storage. The first connections to the grid are set for August 2022.

“The eight projects will inject R45 billion into the economy, with an average local content of 50% and create some 3 800 job opportunities during construction. A further 13 500 job opportunities will be created during the 20-year Purchase Power Agreement Term.

“The strategic interventions that government is making to restructure and strengthen the electricity system will fundamentally improve the country’s power-generation capacity. The significant progress being made shows that our efforts to deal with the energy challenges are gathering momentum,” Ntshavheni said.

Cabinet has called on South Africans to support interventions to strengthen the performance of Eskom by reporting illegal connections, meter tampering and illicit sale of prepaid electricity vouchers to law-enforcement agencies.

“We must all be responsible consumers of electricity by paying our monthly bills,” she said.

Police killings

Meanwhile, Cabinet has expressed concern about the reported attacks on members of the South African Police Service.

Since 25 February, 12 police officers were brutally murdered on and off duty in different parts of the country. 

“Police officers put their lives at risk daily to ensure the safety of our communities and the country. All acts of violence and murder directed against police officers are not only cowardly but also unpatriotic, and should not be tolerated in our society,” Ntshavheni said.

Cabinet has called on law-enforcement agencies to ensure that justice is done for the fallen police officers. 

“As a law-abiding and peace-loving society, let us all demonstrate our revulsion towards police killings by reporting all perpetrators and fugitives to law-enforcement agencies. The death of a police officer is one too many,” the Minister said.

SAnews.gov.za

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