South Africa eases path for companies to generate power

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South Africa is to allow companies to produce more electricity on their own as it tries to mitigate the impact of the rolling blackouts that have crippled the economy.

Investors, including some of the world’s biggest miners, will be able to set up independent power generation of up to 100 megawatts without having to go through a complex licensing procedure, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

South Africa is in the middle of “the worst economic crisis in our country’s recent history” and it urgently needs to liberalise energy supplies to avert the “massive risk” of blackouts, Ramaphosa said.

State-owned Eskom generates nearly all of South Africa’s electricity, but its fleet of mostly coal power stations suffer regular breakdowns after years of neglect and graft under Jacob Zuma, the former president. This has forced the indebted utility to impose…

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