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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Ramaphosa hopes for a better 2023, but what about load shedding?

In his weekly newsletter, From The Desk Of The President speaks about 2022 drawing to a close and reflecting on a tumultuous year.

As the country battles stage 5 load shedding with no end, President Cyril Ramaphosa has failed to fully address the power challenges but rather harping on what the country’s ambitions are.

In his weekly newsletter, From The Desk Of The President speaks about 2022 drawing to a close and reflecting on a tumultuous year.

Tough year

“Like for many people around the world, this has been a tough year for many South Africans,” he said.

The president touched on the devastating floods in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and North West in the first half of the year, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and of course the energy crisis which he said “caused misery for South African households and businesses”.

However, that’s as far as the talk about the immediate energy crisis goes.  

ALSO READ: Eskom agitates for ‘overthrow of the state’ by not dealing with load shedding – Mantashe

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Over a decade of load shedding

“Despite the electricity challenges, the economy is recording growth. In the third quarter of this year real GDP grew by 1.6%, and the size of the economy now exceeds pre-pandemic levels.

“For more than a decade, South Africa has been confronted with a shortage of electricity, with load shedding now a daily reality. Over the last year we have taken urgent steps to remedy this dire situation by significantly and rapidly increasing the construction of new generating capacity, Ramaphosa said.

Hope for 2023?

Ramaphosa then touches on renewable energy.

“We have accelerated the procurement of renewable energy and have removed many of the regulatory hurdles to greater private investment in embedded generation. There is now a significant pipeline of embedded generation projects that are preparing for construction. We are working closely with Eskom to improve the performance of their fleet of power stations.”

“With this difficult year coming to an end and several challenges still not resolved, we need to keep closely focused on what needs to be done to make next year better,” he said.

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Load shedding

However, this does not include the dissipation of load shedding, after Eskom said South Africans will experience load shedding for at least another year.

“The refuelling and maintenance outage as well as the long-term operation project of unit 1 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, together with the October chimney failure that has forced three generation units offline at Kusile Power Station, will further reduce available generation capacity and significantly increase the occurrence of load shedding during the next six to 12 months,” he said.

While many are really hoping for a better year, many also praying for the current pandemic of load shedding to end, which has severely impacted their lives, taking a huge pinch of salt when Ramaphosa says “we have good reason to be believe things are getting better”.

ALSO READ: ‘The writing is on the wall’: Ramaphosa’s win for ANC presidency certain despite Phala Phala saga

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