Minister Jeff Radebe on Thursday ended the impasse for South Africa’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) programmes after more than two frustrating years, announcing that project agreements for 27 stalled renewable-energy projects would be signed on March 13.
The solar and wind projects, valued at R56-billion, were procured in 2015 under bid windows 3.5 and 4 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPPP). The projects were stalled in 2016 when guptafication spread its malodorous perfidy through practically every corridor and shebeen of power.
Radebe acknowledged that the delay in signing the PPAs had been damaging, but said he would not focus on the past, but rather on pursuing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “action oriented” mandate for reigniting economic growth. He also insisted that “Eskom would sign on Tuesday”, in response to persistent questions as to whether the utility was in a financial state to proceed.
This is without question a positive development, but as recent history has conditioned us, the proof shall only be rendered by delivery. Much depends on the alacrity with which words become deeds. May the pursuit of the mandate be swift.