Premier Dukwana message of hope at Gauteng energy Indaba

South Africa: Despite disruptive power outages and damage to electricity infrastructure, the country's future looks bright.

South Africa: Despite disruptive power outages and damage to electricity infrastructure, the country’s future looks bright.

That was the view of the Premier of the Free State province, the Dukwana Mxolisi when addressing guests at the Gauteng Energy Indaba held at the Gallagher convention centre, Midrand, on Thursday, 10 August 2023. 


Premier Dukwana’s reassuring message followed the CEO of the Energy Council of South Africa, James Mackay, who predicted that load shedding will be “significantly” reduced next year.

The Gauteng provincial government, led by Premier Panyaza Lesufi, convened government leaders, the private sector, civil society, traditional leadership and many other stakeholders to the Indaba to try and find solutions to the electricity challenges in the country.

Premier Dukwana was delivering a message of support at the Energy Indaba. He said that the power challenges that the country is currently grappling with will ultimately be overcome.

“We are a country facing serious and complex socio-economic challenges, and the energy crisis is compounding the problem. However, we remain optimistic that these will be overcome,” said Premier Dukwana.

The Premier also applauded the Gauteng Government for taking the initiative to address the issue of electricity. Quoting former United State Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, Premier Dukwana said the power to set the country on a path of renewal was in the hands of the people.

“I am reminded that ‘destiny is not a matter of chance but of choice. Not something to wish for, but to attain’. And the Gauteng leadership is actually declaring that “we are not stuck in the ruts of destiny; we have the power to break free, clear our vision and see a new life for ourselves”.


The Premier further added that Eskom ought to play an active role in ensuring that energy provision, particularly to the poor, is realised.

“In the implementation of the Just Energy Transition, Eskom, as a state-owned company, should continue to play a strategic role in implementing energy policies. We are guided by the Integrated Resource Plan, which envisages the usage of an optimal mix of energy sources such as coal, solar, wind, gas, hydro and energy storage to maintain the security of supply of electricity at the lowest cost,” he said.

The Free State Province energy security programme, amongst others, proposes that:

The Office of the Premier and the Central Energy Fund concludes a Memorandum of Understanding to work together with subsidiaries to facilitate and implement energy security initiatives. It further proposes that an urgent engagement between the Free State Provincial Government and Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality be convened to determine the possibility and willingness to transition CENTLEC to be a Provincial Energy Entity.

In addition to exploring other means to generate power, the Indaba also sought to:

• Find ways of putting an end to damage to infrastructure such as power stations and cable theft

• Address questionably high electricity bills and

• Servicing of debt to Eskom

“We convened you here today to help us with ways of addressing these challenges that we are faced with,” said Premier Lesufi.