SA Government Looking at Blended Financing to Solarize Households, Says Electricity Minister

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South Africa’s Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa stated that an announcement will be made by the Government in the next two weeks about how lower-income households can access blended financing solutions to procure solar power.

Speaking at a forum in Cape Town on Thursday May 18, the Minister provided insight into the various measures the Government is undertaking to address loadshedding, emphasizing that “every MW we can lay our hands on, we will.”

According to Minister Ramokgopa, the Ministry of Electricity remains steadfast in their commitment to implement the President’s Energy Action Plan – the primary objective of which is to guarantee energy security for all South Africans, with particular emphasis on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable, including the impoverished segments of society.

Minister Ramokgopa stated that the Government is pushing to equip up to 200,000 households with solar panels. However, “the poor won’t have the opportunity to benefit from renewable energy resources because they don’t have the financial means.” As such, blended financing solutions are being explored, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable renewable energy industry in South Africa.

In addition to solar, Minister Ramokgopa emphasized key objectives of expanding the national grid under the Energy Action Plan, stating that, “the National Treasury has provided fiscal support of R254 billion, which is substantial, but it is not deemed sufficient for Eskom’s needs. Therefore, it is crucial for us to explore various solutions, including technical measures, to expedite progress in this regard.”

According to Minister Ramokgopa, loadshedding represents the biggest challenge faced by South Africa, and that, “The sectors that are disproportionately affected by load shedding are your primary sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, fisheries, and mining,” adding that, “If you look at the revenue of the agricultural sector, 23% of their revenue comes from production activities that require the availability of electricity.”

In his concluding remarks, Minister Ramokgopa stated that the Ministry is working on improving energy availability to survive the winter without escalating loadshedding, including bringing additional units online and pursuing emergency procurement for more capacity.

“Our intention is to protect South Africa’s economy and ensure the country’s energy sovereignty. Anything that costs less than diesel can be justified,” Minister Ramokgoba stated, adding that it is inevitable that “we are going to go to powerships. I am talking powerships, not Karpowership.”

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Thaakira Samodien

Thaakira Samodien

Thaakira Samodien is a strategic content writer at Energy Capital and Power. She has a shared passion for writing and is an advocate for the growth and development of African Nations

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