Power emergency office to be established

A national electricity emergency programme management office (PMO) will be established immediately, government spokesperson Themba Maseko said on Thursday.

The office would be responsible for coordinating all efforts to deal with an emergency, Maseko said at a media briefing following Cabinet’s regular meeting on Wednesday.

It would also track and report on initiatives, provide technical support and ensure that the decisions of the National Electricity Response Team were implemented.

The PMO would be set up under the auspices of the Minerals and Energy Department and include industry experts and officials seconded from government departments.

Maseko also said the Cabinet had approved the electricity pricing policy.

Details would be announced and discussed on Friday at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac)-convened electricity summit.

The policy sought, among other things, to ensure the electricity value chain contributed to economic growth, universal access to electricity and an investor-friendly pricing structure promoting efficient cost-recovery measures and a reasonable return on investment.

Maseko said preliminary discussions between government and all the key stakeholders were taking place to ensure that consensus was reached at the electricity summit.

“The government is confident that the summit will be an important milestone in the process of building a strong partnership to manage the electricity emergency,” he said.—Sapa

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