Energy Minister Jeff Radebe signalled his willingness on Tuesday to use his legislative powers to facilitate the introduction of private electricity supply alternatives that could reduce the threat of load-shedding by Eskom in the in the short- to medium-term. Addressing DLO Africa Power Roundtable Conference in Johannesburg, Radebe said he would consider attaching a short-term action plan to the longer-term generation blueprint that would be provided by the updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which is currently under consideration by the social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).   

Private locomotive and rail operator Traxtion on Tuesday showcased its new maintenance and refurbishment facility, in Rosslyn, as part of its plans to increase its capacity to provide locomotive rebuild and overhaul services for Africa. The facility is on the third phase of a planned eight-phase development, with R68-million having been invested to date. Investment will total R130-million once all phases are complete.

UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has re-entered the light-duty truck sector with the launch of the new Kuzer. Once a stellar performer in this segment of the truck market, the Japanese truck maker has been without a light-duty vehicle in the South African truck market since 2015.

A court application to have 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed between Eskom and 26 independent power producers (IPPs) in 2018 declare null and void has been dismissed with costs. The legal challenge was initiated last year by the Coal Transporters Forum (CTF), a voluntary association made of 50 companies that transport coal to Eskom power stations. The respondents to the application included Eskom, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), Energy Minister Jeff Radebe and more than 30 IPPs.

Standalone South African energy company Astron Energy is upbeat about investing in both its Cape Town refinery, as well as its Caltex-branded service stations over the next few years. “Investment in South Africa has positive potential. South Africa has the highest fuel consumption in sub-Saharan African. It is 25% higher than Nigeria’s demand, yet has a population three times smaller,” said Astron CEO Jonathan Molapo.