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Electricity minister confident SA will survive winter amid power boost

With a significant boost in power generation, South Africa is poised to weather the winter season, electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said on Saturday.

Just last month, Ramokgopa had predicted an arduous winter for the southern hemisphere nation due to electricity woes.

However, during a recent address, the minister revealed a commendable increase in power generation, now reaching an average output of 60%, a significant rise from the previous 48%.

In a promising shift, South Africa’s daily blackouts have dramatically decreased from 12 hours to approximately two hours per day in recent weeks.

“We have succeeded in maintaining these efficiency levels,” Ramokgopa declared.

The substantial turnaround has been credited to Eskom’s strategic deployment of top-tier generation experts to the worst-performing power plants. Their efforts have resulted in the output of these stations exceeding expectations, much to the minister’s satisfaction.

Expressing confidence in the current progress, Ramokgopa stated said he more than than sure South Africa will “weather the winter.”

He made these comments during a national executive committee meeting of the governing African National Congress in a hotel located east of Johannesburg.

He said SA will avoid the grim scenario previously anticipated, especially as the “improvements will persist.”

The winter season’s peak demand, previously estimated at 34 000 megawatts, has come in lower at 30 000 megawatts, further alleviating the pressure on the energy grid.

The persistent power cuts have led many South Africans to explore alternate energy solutions, such as installing solar units at a domestic level.

Emphasizing his optimism about the future, Ramokgopa said he is confident load shedding will soon be a thing of the past, which will enable SA to build an extra buffer reserve margin to grow the economy.

In a previous report in May, the central bank predicted that this year’s GDP growth would be a mere 0.3%, citing power outages as a key factor that could cost the country’s most industrialized economy at least two percentage points of growth.

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