The North West Provincial Government is considering solar energy as an option for agriculture because Eskom rates are crippling farmers, Premier Modise announced in a bilateral meeting held with Eskom in Mahikeng.
Premier Modise told the Management of Eskom Provincial Operating Unit that the province has resolved to establish provincial energy committee to explore alternative energy sources.
Modise who was with MEC for Economic Development, Conservation, Environment and Tourism, Motlalepula Rosho in the engagement said that province wants to be closely involved in the roll out of renewable energy and not an adhoc basis to ensure that women and young people in the province benefit and take ownership in order to sustain local businesses.
“We appreciate plans for installation of 17 263 new household connections across the province during the current financial year towards which Eskom has budget R383 million, however there is a needs for you to adopt a business perspective to support economic activity and support small medium micro enterprises and our venture into manufacturing,” Premier Modise told Eskom General Manager, Philistas Khumalo and members of her unit.
“We are concerned about inferior quality of electricity in our rural communities and as a farming province we wish to mitigate the impact of carbon deposits on our livestock,” Modise stressed.
She urged Eskom to seek permanent solution to theft of generators at water pumping stations in Moretele and prioritise Brits, Rustenburg and Mahikeng to ensure that businesses in these areas are not affected adversely by power disruptions that interrupt productivity.
Khumalo outlined plans to improve average incident duration and frequency through refurbishment of the ageing network, strengthening and normalisation of network to improve availability, splitting of long lines with high customer base into shorter, use of livework to improve timeous defects repairs on lines and replacement of old wood and strict management of vegetation.
She said that the plans will cost Eskom R1 billion.