President exonerates renewable energy from Eskom woes

- | a month ago

P resident Cyril Ramaphosa says the financial and operational challenges faced by power utility Eskom are not caused by the independent power producer (IPP) programme.

Responding to oral questions in the National Assembly last week, the president said the IPPs would not collapse Eskom.He said the power utility's headwinds are as a result of a number of factors, from state capture to poor maintenance of its power plants.

"The severe financial and operational challenges currently being experienced by Eskom are not caused by the independent power producers programme, and in particular the renewable energy projects."Eskom's challenges have been driven by massive cost and time overruns on the new build programme, the effects of state capture and corruption, collapse in governance, unsustainable debt levels and poor maintenance of plants," he said.

He said this in response to a question by EFF leader Julius Malema, who had asked about the cost to Eskom of the IPPs that signed the latest round of power purchasing agreements with Eskom and if the costs of the agreements would collapse the power utility.The president said the IPPs are investing their own debt and equity to construct the projects, including the cost of connecting these power projects to the grid.

He said the value of the 27 IPP agreements signed in April 2018, represented in terms of private sector investment, is R57 billion.

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