Eskom hydro and gas projects on the cards for 2024, says Ramaphosa

Hydro power and gas projects are on the cards for 2024.

Hydro power and gas projects are on the cards for 2024.

Published Mar 25, 2024


President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that Eskom's proposed gas power plant in Mossel Bay and a pumped hydro storage facility in Limpopo are among the 12 priority projects identified for project preparation in the coming year.

Speaking at the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium held in Cape Town last week, the President said that these projects would help address critical infrastructure needs while stimulating economic growth and job creation.

In his address, Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of proper project preparation to ensure successful implementation, highlighting the risks of cost and time overruns associated with inadequate readiness.

"The key to developing a bankable and viable project pipeline is project preparation … Projects being taken to procurement without requisite readiness often lead to cost and time overruns during their implementation," he said.

The 12 identified projects, with a combined value of R180 billion, are expected to generate over 400,000 jobs during their construction and operation phases, contributing to socio-economic development across the country.

Among the priority projects are investments in rail and ports to alleviate freight congestion and promote modal shift from road to rail transportation, ultimately enhancing export capabilities.

The development of special economic zones and water infrastructure projects supports the government's commitment to fostering private sector involvement and addressing key sectoral challenges.

However, Ramaphosa acknowledged the challenges facing infrastructure development, including the construction mafia's disruption of projects and the need for improved community engagement.

"Communities around the world want to be involved in anything that is going to benefit them.

They are correctly saying, 'nothing about us, without us', and therefore we need to involve communities," he said.

Efforts to mitigate these challenges include the establishment of a specialised police unit to combat construction-related crime and initiatives to enhance community participation in project planning and execution.

Although there is a growing push to diversify away from coal due to environmental concerns such as climate change and pollution, South Africa’s energy mix comprises a combination of different energy sources with coal retaining its dominance providing 80% of the total system load.

According to the CSIR, renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), and concentrated solar power (CSP) contribute 6.2 GW of installed capacity, accounting for 7.3% of the total energy mix.