South African President H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized the urgent need for domestic energy security during a speech delivered on Sunday, calling for accelerated action from public utility Eskom and renewed investment in clean energy alternatives.
Since 2007, South Africa has faced chronic electricity shortages and rolling blackouts due to a lack of new power generation capacity, insufficient maintenance of existing generation plants and corruption and mismanagement of state-owned Eskom, which has stymied industrial and economic growth. As a result, the President urged the utility to prioritize critical maintenance of power infrastructure, ensure competent personnel and eliminate corruption to ease nationwide power outages.
“The electricity crisis in our county continues to undermine economic growth and investment. Load shedding damages businesses, disrupts households and compromises the provision of social services,” he stated.
To ensure that installed generation capacity meets rising energy demand, the President encouraged investment in green hydrogen and other clean energy alternatives, along with highlighted emerging opportunities in rare earth and platinum group minerals for green manufacturing.
It is estimated that South Africa has the potential to produce between six and 13 million tons of green hydrogen and derivatives per year by 2050, which would require between 140 and 300 GW of renewable energy.