As South Africa faces another bout of load shedding by the dark lords of Megawatt Park, President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that negotiations for Eskom to import surplus electricity from Botswana are underway.
Ramaphosa was speaking during a media briefing at the conclusion of the South Africa – Botswana Business Roundtable in Gaborone on Thursday.
Ramaphosa and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi and business leaders from the two sister countries participated in identifying measures to address trade and investment barriers as well as strengthening cooperation between government and private sector in maximising localisation, export promotion efforts and industrialisation.
Ramaphosa said the trade and investment ties between South Africa and Botswana have grown stronger over the years and have laid a firm basis for even greater economic cooperation and integration into the future.
During the “family meeting” last week to address the energy crisis, Ramaphosa announced that Eskom would import power from these countries through the Southern African Power Pool arrangement as one of the measures to plug the 6 000MW electricity shortage on the grid over the next three months
Ramaphosa said South Africa needs to address its energy challenges on an urgent basis.
“Our quest as South Africa to address our own energy challenges would be seeking to increase the capacity of our energy by also importing energy from our sister neighbouring countries who have moved up the ladder in terms of having a measure of surplus energy which we would like to tap into, so those discussions have started, and we want to proceed with them.”
“We are hoping that through various negotiations, we will be able to tap into energy sources from Botswana as well, where there is a measure of surplus energy that they can sell to us,” Ramaphosa said.
The South Africa – Botswana Business Round Table was preceded by the Business Forum, which enhanced linkages, trade and investment, and prospective joint venture partnerships between the two countries.