The EIUG members collectively account for over 40% of the electrical energy consumed in South Africa. Our members are also significant contributors to employment (>650 000 employees) and GDP (~20% contribution). Energy is the engine for economic growth and development in our country. The EIUG believes in the need to create an enabling electricity supply industry that will empower the country to prosper by improving our electricity supply reliability and capacity, stabilising our escalating electricity costs and support the decarbonisation of our economy. 

It is for these reasons that the EIUG welcomes the announcement made this afternoon, 10 June 2021, by President Ramaphosa pertaining to increasing the Generation License threshold from 1 MW to 100MW.

We view this as an incredibly significant step in transforming our Electricity Supply Industry and closing the short-term energy deficit, and such a move is in line with our earlier calls, provided that the necessary technical requirements are met. We will continue to constructively engage with government and other stakeholders and continue to advocate for the transformation of the industry. To this extent, we are available and keen to participate in the finalisation of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act over the next sixty days. Key to such finalization would be to ensuring that clarity is gained in the definition of ‘own-use’ and whether single generation Facilities would be allowed to share output amongst several different customers. The EIUG believes that for some generation Facilities to be commercially viable, they may need to achieve economies of scale that in instances may be too big for single off-takers. 

Whilst this is a significant and positive step in creating an enabling electricity supply industry, to further unlock own-use generation, a clear national wheeling framework is required together with the ability to trade electricity on a short-term basis. We trust that given these recent positive developments, solutions to these items will be rapidly found amongst the electricity supply industry stakeholders. The EIUG is willing and able to assist in this regard. 

Given that any new generation will take some time to come online and whilst load shedding continues to increasingly bear down on the country, the EIUG calls for Eskom to expedite and radically enhance their maintenance recovery programme. Poor maintenance and plant unpredictability is a major contributor to recent load shedding episodes as evidenced by the continued downward trend in plant availability. This trend must be arrested and reversed concurrently with the development of new generation capacity in order to stop load shedding. 


Notes to the editors: 

The EIUG was established in 1999, and is a voluntary, non-profit association of energy intensive consumers whose members currently account for over 40% of the electrical energy consumed in South Africa. As electricity is a key input to the processes of these organisations, it is the ‘life blood’ of our businesses. Our members collectively contribute over 20% to the GDP of South Africa and employ over 650 000 people across multiple sectors, including mining, quarrying, manufacturing, electricity, transportation, and water. The EIUG is dedicated to the promotion of the interests of energy users in South African Industry. 

The EIUG is a consumer-led organisation working for the good of the country. The group strongly believes that energy is the engine for economic growth and development in South Africa. We are therefore committed to working with government, power utilities and other stakeholders to ensure South Africa has energy industries which provide reliable supply at acceptable quality and competitive prices. 

Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa NPC