Loadshedding Expected To Be Reduced By 2024


Despite the country’s current gloomy economic environment, inflation being on the up and rolling power cuts, South Africans can be hopeful as experts have indicated that loadshedding will start to ease in the foreseeable future.



 A recent report from the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) at Stellenbosch University has highlighted significant progress being made with efforts to combat and reduce loadshedding.

Chief economist at the BER Hugo Pienaar, says although slow, there seems to be more progress being made behind the scenes to alleviate the debilitating power constraint than is generally appreciated.

Part of the pessimism is that we've heard from government that things will improve in future, and then those expectations have not been met.

The BER says that private sector power generation projects are vital to breaking away from the reliance on Eskom's power generation.

He adds, “We are now starting to see a greater amount of private sector green energy projects being registered with the energy regulator, Nersa.”

Pienaar says that a recent update from Operation Vulindlela also provided some optimism for reduced loadshedding.

Operation Vulindlela is a joint operation between the Presidency and National Treasury that seeks to unlock growth-boosting reforms, including those in the energy space.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the establishment of Operation Vulindlela in October 2020, as part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

According to the BER Report, new private sector energy generation projects tracked by the Operation Vulindlela’s Embedded Generation Task Team has increased from around 4 000MW in March 2022 to a combined capacity of just over 10000MW.

The 108 projects have an expected fixed investment requirement of more than R200 billion.

More of these projects are now likely to come on stream...construction being completed in the next 12-24 months.

Regarding South Africa’s immediate energy needs, the report noted that 3,000 MW is expected to be online next year, equating to roughly three stages of load shedding.

Furthermore, the BER says that Eskom should return several major generating units from long-term outages by late-2023 or early-2024.

This means there’s hope that South Africa’s energy crisis could improve dramatically in 2024.

Plans to reduce loadshedding

South Africa’s energy crisis has prompted continued calls for immediate government action.

As a result, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa recently announced a series of initiatives aimed that addressing loadshedding.

One of these initiatives include former Eskom employees and technical experts being deployed to underperforming power stations to boost their Energy Availability Factor.

Ramakgopa says that the team would go around the four power stations, these include Matla, Kriel, Majuba, and Kendal power stations.

In addition, he also noted that two more hydrogen projects, had been approved by the Eskom board and should be online by the end of June, adding another 274 MWs to the grid.


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