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Eskom’s plan to overcome the South African electricity crisis

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will urge energy ministers and SOEs to find ways to resolve the electricity crisis. The electricity crisis has forced most of South Africa’s industries to suffer electricity cuts in the last nine days.

The South African state electricity company Eskom said it would cut 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the national electricity grid. The electricity crisis that suppressed the production of South Afrik’s economy was Ramaphosa’s biggest challenge.

Eskom has a 450 billion rand jumbo debt or equivalent to Rp 438.23 trillion. Eskom also has difficulty meeting electricity demand because its money power plants are not well managed.

Ramaphosa, a former trade union leader who eventually became a businessman and millionaire, assumed the position of president two years ago. He promised to improve the ailing state-owned companies and reverse the years of mismanagement and business stagnation.

But, he struggled to overhaul Eskom and raise the pace of economic growth in South Africa because of strong opposition to his reform program. Last Wednesday, Ramaphosa said that Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and SOE Minister Pravin Gordhan will submit proposals to resolve the electricity crisis to the cabinet today.

This proposal includes accelerating the application of business people who want to generate their own electricity, use temporary generators, and connect renewable energy projects to the electricity grid faster than originally planned. Eskom said South Africa needed an additional 5,000 MW of generating capacity in order to have a safety margin to maintain power plants.

To this day, Eskom has recorded network damage with a total capacity of 12,000 MW from normal capacity of around 44,000 MW. Power outages are expected to decrease starting mid next week as many businesses close before the Christmas and New Year holidays.

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For your information, the South African electricity crisis has helped to raise the price of palladium to the highest level of all time. The reason is, South Africa is a global supplier of 40% palladium.

Palladium prices rose in nine consecutive trading days. Friday (12/13) at 17:24 WIB, spot palladium prices were at US $ 1,967.60 per troi ounce.

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