Ramaphosa vows to tackle S. Africa power crisis

STORY: South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa made fresh promises on Monday (July 25) to tackle the country's worst-ever power crisis.

"Capacity from renewables, capacity from gas and battery storage."

He's been trying to reform the country's ailing power network since taking office in 2018 - but has made little headway.

This year's outages, known locally as load-shedding, are set to reach a record level.

In a televized address, Ramaphosa said additional interventions were needed at struggling state-owned utility Eskom.

"We need to urgently add much more capacity to the grid. In other words we need more megawatts to be put on the grid."

Under the government's plans Eskom will increase its maintenance budget next year.

It will also seek to buy excess power from existing independent power producers and neighboring countries in southern Africa.

Eskom will also develop rules and a pricing structure to encourage the uptake of rooftop solar by businesses and households.

Those with solar panels will be able to sell electricity they do not need to Eskom.

"South Africa has great abundance of sun, which we should really use to generate electricity."

Ramaphosa said the finance minister will outline government plans to deal with Eskom's 400 billion rand of debt, that's nearly $24 billion, at the October mid-term budget.

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