Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Kevin Mileham on Friday called on Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to “come clean” about his plans to implement the energy resolutions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on Thursday.
The President announced the launching of Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and the opening of discussions with successful bidders from REIPPPP Bid Window 4 to accelerate the completion of their projects.
He also gave the go-ahead for financially sound municipalities to procure their own power from independent power producers (IPPs).
The DA said Mantashe had contradicted himself in media interviews, citing that he was unwilling to commit to opening Bid Window 5.
Mileham explained that a limited number of IPPs have received licences to provide electricity to the grid, following the opening of four-and-half bid windows so far.
He added that the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 called for more renewables to be added yearly, urging Mantashe to open the fifth bid window.
Mileham said judging by the Minister’s recent statements he did not intend to do so anytime soon.
Mileham stated that while the party welcomed Ramaphosa’s SoNA address, it is worrying that Mantashe did not seem to be on board with the President’s promises to the energy sector, adding that his comments make the President’s promise an empty one.
“Mantashe has also continuously delayed the signing of Section 34 notices, and has been slow to act on the amendment of schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act. Every day of delay of these urgent reforms is another day of rolling blackouts and another day of severe damage to the South African economy,” explained Mileham.
The DA said if Mantashe continued to be the spanner in the works, the party would hold him to account, as well as call on Ramaphosa to act against him.