State power utility Eskom has said it has “no choice” but to approach the Johannesburg High Court to force City Power to pay just over R1-billion in unpaid debt. Eskom noted that City Power began to default on payments in October 2023 and that it did not receive any payment for March, this year.
Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa denies that the prevailing reprieve from loadshedding has been “stage managed” to improve the prospects of the governing African National Congress ahead of the May 29 poll, attributing it instead to “orchestrated” engineering efforts undertaken by Eskom over the past 18 months. Speaking during a briefing that coincided with the fortieth consecutive day of no loadshedding and amid growing societal cynicism about the timing of such supply stability, the Minister also strenuously denied that the improved performance was because Eskom was relying more heavily on the diesel-fuelled open cycle gas turbines that it owned as well as those operated by independent power producers (IPPs).
The initial direct cost of placing South Africa on an energy transition pathway over the coming five years in line with its decarbonisation targets is calculated at a hefty R1.5-trillion in the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP). Less visible, however, are the socioeconomic costs associated with failing to pursue the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) goal of reducing carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2-eq) emissions to the lower end of the NDC range of between 420-million and 350-million CO2-eq tons in 2030.