Electricity crisis: Amid protests, South Africa to pass law accelerating power projects

South Africa is developing a new law to speed up energy projects and help end power disruptions across the country.

The Cable had reported how violent protests erupted in the country amid frustrations at the worsening energy situation.

On Mondayresidents of Boksburg took to the streets to protest against long hours of power cuts, cordoning off the roads with burning tires and rocks.

There have also been protests via social media platforms, including calls for a “national shutdown in February”.

Protests over “illegal” use of electricity from neighboring areas, lack of electricity supply, and a high cost of electricity have been at the center of the frustration.

Experts warned that the frequency and intensity of load shedding are expected to escalate in 2023, which have contributed to the calls for a “national shutdown”

However, a presentation from the National Energy Crisis Committee, a body under President Cyril Ramaphosa, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, reportedly showed that measures are in place to fast-track plant development.

The report added that the committee was working to “develop emergency legislation which can be tabled in parliament to allow energy projects to proceed more quickly and enable coordinated and decisive action.”

It added that a “web of bureaucracy” was making it difficult to deal with the power crisis and that “the current regulatory framework wasn’t designed to deal with an energy shortfall”.

The document was said to acknowledge that progress has been made on the energy action plan that was announced by Ramaphosa in July, including raising licensing requirements for private embedded generation projects and importing power.

Eksom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility, said it would shorten power cuts from Tuesday morning as 14 generators would be reinstated, but noted that electricity shortages could continue at least into 2024.

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