This report focuses on the generation of electricity and includes information on the size and state of the sector, including coal, gas and renewables and developments at Eskom and in the independent power production programme. There are profiles of 13 companies including Eskom, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Dedisa Peaking Power, Hopefield Wind Farm Local Community Company and ACWA Power Solafrica Bokpoort.
Generation of Electricity
State-owned utility Eskom, which dominates the generation of electricity in South Africa, continues to be plagued by financial instability, corruption, generating capacity shortages, and a debt burden which is threatening the country’s economy. Despite the ongoing construction of two massive coal-fired stations at Medupi and Kusile to increase capacity, Eskom produced less electricity from coal in the year to March 2020 than the previous year due to maintenance and unplanned breakdowns. Government’s Integrated Resource Plan 2019 includes increased generation capacity from renewable sources, but South Africa remains reliant on coal for the foreseeable future.
Independent Power Producers
Government confirmed in February 2021 that it would issue a request for proposals for 2,600MW imminently, followed by another bid window in August 2021. Four bidding rounds have been completed to date and 4,201MW of electricity generation capacity from 67 IPP projects had been connected to the national grid. Independent power production has provided opportunities for new players and SMEs in the form of advisory services, transport and provision of hardware.
Corruption, Fraud and Mismanagement
Eskom and its employees have been the subject of numerous allegations including Eskom officials having financial interests in entities trading with Eskom, irregular payments and kickbacks. By September 2020, 278 cases related to fraud, corruption and irregularities were active and 82 cases for criminal prosecution had been referred to the police. Eskom is also instituting civil litigation to recover over-payments to implicated contractors.