Mantashe takes the load off Eskom ... or does he?

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Mantashe takes the load off Eskom ... or does he?

Minister generated excitement when he announced what initially seemed to be the removal of red tape for miners

Hilary Joffe

The media briefing that minerals and energy minister Gwede Mantashe held Monday following his opening address at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town was dominated by one big issue: when and how would the way be cleared for mining companies to generate their own electricity?

The minister generated a fair bit of excitement when he departed from his scripted speech to say that declining growth had forced the government to take serious decisions, one of which was: “We must allow our mining companies to generate electricity for self-use – you do not need a licence for that, you just need to be registered and run ahead.”

It seemed a huge step to remove the regulatory red tape that had held back the companies that wanted to generate their own power in an urgent bid both to provide their own operations with a secure supply of electricity and to help take the load off Eskom...

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