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SAWEA WELCOMES THE MERGING OF MINISTRIES OF ELECTRICITY AND ENERGY, RETAINING KGOSIENTSHO RAMOKGOPA AS THE MINISTER

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) welcomes the finalisation of the 7th administration by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Given the complex nature of the process, SAWEA commends the President for his meticulous approach in selecting the national cabinet of 75 Ministers across 32 portfolios from all parties to form the Government of National Unity. 

Niveshen Govender

SAWEA CEO, Niveshen Govender commented, “The President has demonstrated his commitment to prioritising the needs of South Africans and upholding the Constitution through an inclusive cabinet, comprising more young people and women. He has further shown his dedication to ensuring a smooth, just energy transition with key ministry adjustments, such as the separation of Mineral Resources and Energy and the merger of Energy with Electricity, fostering a concerted effort to achieve distributive, restorative, and procedural justice.”

Ministry of Electricity and Energy

The Association supports the separation of Mineral Resources and Energy into two separate ministries as it enables the country to prioritise energy security with a special focus on electricity. Through a concerted effort in forming this new Ministry of Electricity and Energy, led by Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and Samantha Graham as Deputy Minister, the Association is confident that South Africa’s energy security will be the central focus of unified collaborative efforts under the National Government of Unity.

Over the past 15 months, Ramokgopa has been deliberate and consistent in keeping consumers informed about the Government’s comprehensive reforms to achieve energy sovereignty. We believe that Minister Ramokgopa’s role in stabilising South Africa’s power supply has yielded positive results in the first half of the year. Eskom last imposed rolling power cuts on 26 March 2024, marking the longest period of energy stability in the country since 2021, and reached a significant milestone in curbing load shedding by achieving an Energy Availability Factor (EAF) of 65.5% in April 2024. These are just a few of many considerable achievements in the country’s electricity supply under Ramokgopa’s watch in consultation and collaboration with the utility’s new leadership. 

Wind Industry’s expectations

Whilst the sector is optimistic about a positive future under this new Ministry, industry challenges remain a concern, particularly ahead of the REIPPPP BW7 submission deadline and the dwindling grid capacity in wind rich areas. 

‘We have high expectations from the newly formed Ministry of Electricity and Energy to work with industry and overcome sector challenges, including grid constraints, regulatory and policy uncertainty, as well as local manufacturing limitations. To mitigate these, there is a critical need to accelerate the integration of wind energy as part of the county’s energy mix and requires policy and strategic intervention to ensure an affordable, stable and reliable electricity supply across South Africa, says SAWEA CEO, Niveshen Govender. 

“The new Ministry should prioritise overseeing the maintenance and expansion of the country’s electricity infrastructure, inter-departmental energy policy alignment, and stabilising the grid. As SAWEA, we will continue to promote renewable energy (wind power in particular), and work with Government to create an attractive investment destination with consistency and continuity for the wind sector, contributing to the national grid and addressing energy security challenges.”

SAWEA remains committed to supporting and collaborating with Government to drive innovation in the energy sector to achieve the goal of South Africa’s energy security as we transition to a low-carbon economy. “Together, we can enhance the resilience and sustainability of the nation’s energy resources to meet the growing demand and mitigate risks to the energy supply,” concludes Govender. 

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