President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved to end South Africa’s debilitating power crisis that has seen Eskom introduce rolling blackouts.
With temperatures dipping as winter bites electricity usage has increased while production is on the decline.
In an unexpected announcement on Thursday Ramaphosa said: “We will be amending Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to increase the National Energy Regulator of South Africa licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW.”
This means independent power producers can supply up to 100MW without needing a licence – something many agree will relieve pressure from the national grid.
He said the decision was taken after an extensive public consultation and a significant amount of technical work undertaken by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.
Ramaphosa says this new reform is expected to unlock significant investment in new generation capacity.
It will also enable companies to build their generation facilities to supply their energy needs.
This move will take significant pressure off Eskom, which he said will continue playing a key and central role.
He says this development will also offer consumers a choice of who to get electricity from.