Nersa wants private power buying freed

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has recommended that procurement of new private electricity generation be managed by a professional entity independent from power utility Eskom, a report showed on Monday.

Eskom has struggled to satisfy rising demand for electricity in Africa’s biggest economy, resulting in power cuts that forced mines to halt production for five days in January.

In a report on its findings into the power crisis, Nersa also urged the government to develop a national strategy for the acquisition and management of coal to ensure security of supply.

“The procurement of new private generation capacity, independent power producers and co-generation, should be managed and coordinated centrally by a professional entity independent from Eskom,” it said.

“The national government should consider formulating a policy that will balance Eskom’s commercial decisions and the national security of electricity supply in order to avoid national crises,” it added.

The power crunch has been blamed on years of underspending by Eskom on generation capacity as well as shaky coal supplies.—Reuters

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