ANC government has done great work with electricity – Minister

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the government has done a great job improving access to electricity, and load-shedding will be gone soon.

Ntshavheni made these comments in a Newsroom Africa interview regarding her statements that the private sector tried to collapse the economy.

Earlier this week, Ntshavheni said the private sector has no interest in developing the country and wants to collapse the government.

She made these comments amidst the Competition Commission’s prosecution of 28 banks for manipulating the rand’s value.

Ntshavheni claimed the rand’s performance, and sometimes the economy has been manipulated by the private sector, which has “no interest in the country’s development”.

“They continue to engineer and do machinations to make sure that the government collapses,” she said.

“That’s why they also self-feed in the narrative that there’s a collapsing state and a collapsing economy because that’s what they wish for, and their actions do that.”

Her comments drew sharp criticism from many quarters, including Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busisiwe Mavuso.

Mavuso said the government does not need the private sector’s help to destroy the economy as it is doing a sterling job on its own.

She said South Africa’s economic problems are the result of the government’s incompetence and cadre deployment policy.

“If Ntshavheni claims the private sector caused the economic failures, then I guess it is also responsible for the poor healthcare, education, roads, logistics, and load-shedding,” she said.

Ntshavheni would not comment on Mavuso’s claim that she is using the private sector as a scapegoat for government failures.

“It is better to ignore Busisiwe Mavuso. She is not worth responding to,” the Minister said.

She maintained that 28 financial institutions, led by banks, engineered an attempted collapse of the South African economy.

Commenting on “limitations of the government”, she said one must be realistic about the progress made over the last 30 years.

She said for most poor people, South Africa is a better place now than it was in the 1990s.

“There has been an improvement in access to health care. Even with load-shedding, everybody has access to electricity,” she said.

She admitted that the government did not heed the call from Eskom to invest in infrastructure, which caused the country’s current energy crisis.

However, she added that you cannot change the past and can only deal with the situation that is currently confronting us. “We are busy resolving the load-shedding crisis,” she said.

Ntshavheni said the Electricity Minister had done great work, and by next year, there would be minimal to no load-shedding.

“There are efforts to resolve load-shedding. That effort does not involve anybody else but the government, which is accused of poor performance,” she said.

“When load-shedding is over, 95% of South Africans will have access to electricity. The ANC government has achieved that.”

Eskom predicts severe electricity shortages

Ntshavheni’s comments about the end of load-shedding are in stark contrast to Eskom’s latest system status report.

The status report shows Eskom will face severe electricity shortages for the next twelve months, resulting in significant load-shedding.

Eskom’s 2023 Week 45 system status report’s 52-week outlook forecasts that electricity demand will be much higher than available generating capacity for every week of the year ahead.

The maintenance plan included a base scenario of outages in its assumptions, also known as a planned risk level.

As there is a possibility of further outages, Eskom included an additional 1,500 MW of outages on the base plan as a “likely risk scenario”.

Eskom used colour codes ranging from green (no shortage) to red (worst case), indicating the absence or presence of a capacity constraint, as shown below:

  • Green – Adequate generation to meet demand and reserves.
  • Yellow – Smaller than 1,000 MW, possibly short to meet reserves.
  • Orange – 1,001 MW to 2,000 MW, definitely short to meet reserves and possibly demand.
  • Red – Over 2,001 MW short to meet demand and reserves.

The outlook between 13 November 2023 and 18 November 2024 shows that the likely risk scenario is red for all 52 weeks.

Eskom’s “Medium-Term System Adequacy Outlook 2024 – 2028” report also showed that Eskom’s problems are unlikely to be resolved soon.

The study reviews the anticipated electricity generation resources to meet South Africa’s forecasted demand in the next five years.

It showed South Africa will have a significant electricity generation shortfall over the next five years – even with moderate electricity demand growth.

The table below shows Eskom’s demand forecast versus the available generating capacity for each week for the next year.


Top JSE indices