Load shedding will soon be a thing of the past for mine companies. This according to Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe – who hinted at the possibility of mine companies producing their own electricity.
Mantashe made the announcement on the first day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba taking place at Cape Town’s International Convention Centre from 03 – 06 February 2020. “Following concurrence by energy regulator, NERSA, we are in the process of gazetting a revised Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act – which will enable self-generation and facilitate municipal generation options under Distributed Generation,” Mantashe said.
In the past, power utility Eskom has been struggling to meet electricity supply demands, resulting in load shedding which negatively impacted many industries such as the mining industry. This in turn had a devastating impact on the country’s economy.
Mantashe further added that the possibility of self-generation of power would help close the energy gap caused by deteriorating Eskom plant performance. “Depending on the circumstances, the generation plant may only require registration and not licensing,” he added.
the minister also touched on other crucial aspects of the mining industry including job losses in the mining sector, community development and social licence, industrial development and beneficiation as well as health and safety status in the industry. “South Africa and the African continent are important to global mining and its development. They should be the destination of choice for the investment community,” Mantashe concluded.