SA advised to cancel its commitment to DRC hydroelectric power project

Authors of the report contend that power from the controversial project would probably be more expensive than other domestic sources and could soon become completely unnecessary as the local Medupi and Kusile power stations and increasing renewable energy production eventually come on stream.

Pretoria’s commitment to buy 2.5GW of power from the proposed Inga III hydroelectric project in the Democratic Republic of Congo could cost South Africa R175-million a year more than producing that amount of electricity locally.

Buying into Inga III would require South Africa to put up billions of rands to build thousands of kilometres of transmission lines from the Congo River. South Africa should therefore stay away from the project, a new report published on Thursday concludes.

The report: “I need you; I don’t Need You; South Africa and Inga III” by the US-based Congo Research Group (CRG) and Cape Town-based Phuzumoyo Consulting, notes that both Parliament’s energy portfolio committee and a senior Eskom official have advised the government to cancel its commitment.

Despite this, President Cyril Ramaphosa seems determined to forge ahead with the undertaking which was originally given to the DRC by then-President Jacob Zuma.


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