Gwede Mantashe

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe.
Image via: flickr

DA: ‘Mantashe a spanner in the works’ for president’s energy promises

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says Gwede Mantashe is not on board with the president in changing the energy sector.

Gwede Mantashe

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe.
Image via: flickr

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says Minister of Mineral and Energy Resources Gwede Mantashe is not on board with the president regarding the energy sector. 

This comes after Ramaphosa announced during SONA, that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) will be able to sell electricity to financially viable municipalities.

The DA argues that Mantashe contradicted Ramaphosa in media interviews thereafter, saying he is unwilling to commit to opening Bid Window 5. 

“This essentially makes the president’s promise an empty one,” said DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Kevin Mileham. 

DA claims Mantashe is hindering energy sector 

A limited number of IPPs have received licences to provide electricity to the grid, following the opening of four and half bid windows so far. The Integrated Resource Plan calls for more renewables to be added on an annual basis. 

“Mantashe has to open the next bid window, which will be the fifth one. He has not done so and judging by his statements last night (at SONA) he does not intend to do so anytime soon,” said Mileham. 

The DA claims that Mantashe has also continuously delayed the signing of section 34 notices and has been slow to act on the amendment of schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act.

“Every day of delay of these urgent reforms is another day of rolling blackouts and another day of severe damage to the South African economy,” he added. 

“Minister Mantashe needs to come clean on what his immediate steps will be to implement the President’s promises without any further delays. We will hold him to account, as well as calling on the President to act against Mantashe if he continues to be the spanner in the works,” he added. 

Gas turbines to alleviate pressure on Eskom

Mantashe said on 17 December 2019, that a move from diesel turbines to gas turbines should alleviate some of the pressure on Eskom

Mantashe made the suggestion at the launch of the 2019 Global Coal Report released by the International Energy Agency in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Although the DA believes Mantashe is a “spanner in the works,” he did say in late 2019 that discussions have commenced with IPP’s to establish which bid Window 4 projects — originally scheduled to come on stream in 2023 — could be brought on stream earlier.  

“We are hoping that the first of Window 4 will come to the grid by March to June in 2020,” said Mantashe.