South Africa’s state power company Eskom will meet its target to reduce carbon emissions by 71-million metric tons a year by the end of the decade, its new CEO said on Friday, despite scrapping plans to retire six coal-fired power stations by then. But CEO Dan Marokane said Eskom’s immediate priority was bringing an end to the power blackouts that have devastated the economy of Africa’s most industrialised nation over the past few years.
Diversified consumer and engineering products group Hudaco has faced a challenging start to the 2024 financial year, with the reduction in loadshedding negatively impacting on some of its alternative energy businesses, resulting in an overall lacklustre set of interim results. “It’s been a rather challenging six months for us, I think for most of South African business. There was reduced loadshedding, but we have an up and down factor in that, when there is loadshedding, we have some businesses that tend to perform well, but when there’s no loadshedding, that business kind of falls away,” Hudaco CEO Graham Dunford said at the release of Hudaco’s interim results for the six months ended May 31.
Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the issues tackled during Phase 1 of Operation Vulindlela and the successes achieved thus far; the likelihood of Operation Vulindlela continuing as programme of action under the new government of national unity; and what could be on the agenda during Phase 2.
The upcoming African Energy Week (AEW): Invest in African Energy 2024 conference will focus on critical industry issues and investment opportunities in Africa’s energy sector, including discussion on key energy projects and Africa’s burgeoning green hydrogen industry. The conference will be held from November 4 to 8 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town.
Hydrogen-focused startup HYENA has successfully developed a process to convert liquid petroleum gas (LPG) into clean electricity using its innovative POWER POD system at its new development facility in Cape Town.   “We’re revolutionising clean energy by converting LPG into electricity with our innovative POWER POD system,” says HYENA CEO Niels Luchters.
Green hydrogen is hailed as critical for a low-carbon energy future, with Africa well-positioned to be a key player in this sector. However, realising the continent’s potential requires African governments’ intervention to derisk and encourage investments, according to global law firm A&O Shearman. The A&O Shearman team, comprising Africa group head and partner Tim Scales, energy and infrastructure partner Antoine Haddad, energy and infrastructure partner and project finance specialist Alessandra Pardini, London-based projects, energy, natural resources and infrastructure partner Troy Edwards and Johannesburg-based projects, energy, natural resources and infrastructure partner Alexandra Clüver, state that notable projects in Morocco, which could capture up to 10% of the global market, and initiatives in Mauritania, Djibouti, Namibia and South Africa, showcase Africa’s potential as a future global hub for green hydrogen production.
Independent power producer SolarAfrica Energy has officially broken ground on its first utility-scale solar farm in the Northern Cape. Known as SunCentral, Phase 1 of this project will total about 342 MW in generation capacity, with Phases 2 and 3 to raise the capacity to 1 GW, making it one of the largest projects of its kind in the country.
A clear and certain legislative framework is critical for enabling sustainability and green energy investments in South Africa going forward, especially given the changes taking place in government following unprecedented outcome of the May 29 elections, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) environmental, social and governance head Msizi Khoza has said. Speaking at a media roundtable event at the Absa headquarters, in Sandton, on June 26, he emphasised the well-documented transformative effect of clear and consistent legislation on the renewable energy sector.
State-owned power utility Eskom has apprehended a suspected copper cable thief at the Matla power station after security officers discovered the individual during routine search duties.

The incident, which took place on June 23, was reported to the Kriel police station, with the suspect now facing charges of theft and unlawful possession of about R4 000 worth of copper cable.

The ‘second wave’ of government’s Operation Vulindlela initiative is poised to be widened to include additional structural reforms to those that have been pursued to date in electricity, freight logistics, telecoms, water and skills with the goal of stimulating higher levels of economic growth over the coming five years. Established jointly by the Presidency and the National Treasury in October 2020 to accelerate priority structural reforms to overcome problems identified as “binding constraints” to economic performance, Operation Vulindlela is expected to continue as a flagship programme under the government of national unity.