Maputo, 31 May (AIM) – The South African Ministers in the President’s Office for Planning and Electricity, Maropene Ramokgopa and Kgosientho Ramokgopa, met on Tuesday in Maputo with the Mozambican Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Carlos Zacarias, to discuss additional sales of power from Mozambique to South Africa.
“We have a 6,000 megawatt power deficit, and we want to explore all the options that Mozambique has to offer. Each megawatt available will make an important contribution for us to reduce the current deficit plaguing the country, which is facing constant blackouts”, said Maropene, cited in Wednesday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.
Zacarias presented his South African guests with the Mozambican energy portfolio, taking into account the response that Mozambique may offer to South Africa in the short, medium and long term.
“We will work and see how we can contribute to bringing about a solution in the short term, said the Minister, adding that the parties will meet again in June to assess all the possibilities for cooperation.
South Africa is the main buyer of power from the Cahora Bassa dam, on the Zambezi, in a contract that is valid until 2029. South Africa buys about 1,400 megawatts from Cahora Bassa.
But the South African electricity company, Eskom, has dragged its feet on negotiating to purchase more Mozambican hydropower. Two major electricity generating projects – a second power station at Cahora Bassa, and a new dam at Mphanda Nkua, 60 kilometres downstream from Cahora Bassa – have been delayed by decades because of the lack of a firm buyer for the electricity they would produce. Eskom is the obvious buyer, but until the current South African energy crisis, it has not shown much interest in buying more power from Mozambique.