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AfrElec: Minerals Council South Africa urges Eskom to sell old coal power plants to private sector

The Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA) has proposed that the struggling state-owned power utility Eskom sell its old coal power plants to the private sector in a bid to improve its generation capacity.

The proposal was made by the MCSA to the Standing Committee on Appropriations in Parliament on April 26 during public hearings on the Eskom Debt Relief Bill. The council represents employers’ organisations in an industry which is a significant supplier of primary energy for electricity generation.

MCSA’s senior economist Bongani Motsa said the private sector would be able to recapitalise Eskom’s old coal-fired power fleet and raise each plant’s energy availability factor (EAF). According to Motsa, selling the plants to the private sector is key to addressing South Africa’s inadequate electricity supply.

“The government, as the sole shareholder, and with various competing economic and social objectives, would better use the billions of rands wasted on Eskom to invest in education, health and the safety of its citizens,” Motsa said.

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