Sonjica: Power rationing for mines to stay

Rationing of electricity to the South African mining industry is to remain in force, Minerals and Energy Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said on Friday.

“It [rationing] was an instrument used to relieve tension. We are not looking at giving more to mining,” she told delegates at a wind energy seminar in Pretoria.

Rationing was introduced last year, after high demand threatened to overwhelm the local power grid. Mining companies have since been operating at between 90% and 95% of their normal requirements.

Sonjica said the fact that a number of mines had closed due to economic conditions was “not of much comfort” as the resulting reduction in demand for electricity had increased reserves only by a small margin.

The minister also announced details of a wind power energy cooperation agreement signed with Denmark’s Foreign Affairs Minister Per Stig Moller on Friday.

Wind power was the world’s fastest-growing energy source, and provided more jobs than electric power stations, she said.

It presented an investment opportunity for achieving the 2013 target of producing 10 000 gigawatts of renewable energy in South Africa.

Denmark had made available R60-million to be used for renewable energy projects in metropolitan areas, Sonjica said. - Sapa



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