Positive reaction to government's latest move on independent power

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced an amendment to the Electricity Regulation Act that will make it easier for independent power providers to generate power and even sell it back into the grid.

FILE: An amendment to schedule two of the act would raise the exemption threshold from 1 megawatt to 100 megawatts. Picture: Pexels.

JOHANNESBURG - Government has announced a major move in the provision of extra electricity - but we're unlikely to feel the effects for some time.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced an amendment to the Electricity Regulation Act that will make it easier for independent power providers to generate power and even sell it back into the grid.

An amendment to schedule two of the act would raise the exemption threshold from 1 megawatt to 100 megawatts.

But experts are warning there's a lot that still needs to be done, and it could take as long as two years to really feel the effects.

"Very, very positive, I think it will relieve the current bottleneck at Nersa and it's going to lead to an acceleration of investment and power thus releasing pressure on Eskom," said energy policy expert and professor at UCT Graduate School of Business, Anton Eberhardt.

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Energy Economist, Lungile Mashele, agrees that this move would benefit Eskom in the long run.

"And it's a generation that Eskom does not have to pay for, that will not be included in any of Eskom's plans and this basically means that Eskom is able to focus on issues like reducing its load burden as well as maintenance."

Opposition political parties have also hailed the move as a big step forward but the Democratic Alliance's Ghaleb Cachalia said the intervention came too late.

"That he is being tardy is appalling and the nation is paying for it now, as they say better late than never, it's time to bring the private sector on board as we have been saying for ages".

The Freedom From Plus agreed saying it's a positive move but one that could have been initiated years ago.

"The ANC government has procrastinated the solution, and we welcome the fact that at long last, there is some kind of solution by amending schedule two."

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