Regional integration key in solving energy problems in Southern Africa: S. African minister

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Johannesburg - With pressing problems confronting Southern African countries in the energy industry, regional collaboration could be the key in alleviating these challenges, said a South African minister on Tuesday.
“It is, therefore, vital that we identify regional projects to increase the integration and interconnection of our sub-region through power initiatives and other trade initiatives,” said Energy Minister Jeff Radebe at the 8th annual Africa power conference in Johannesburg.
“Failure to collaborate will continue to put an enormous responsibilities and pressure on our limited resources. If we take regional collaboration on energy infrastructure seriously and into account, we can easily achieve our economic aspirations,” Radebe said.
He said it was clear that state owned power utility Eskom cannot meet the required energy capacity. 
“Our common goal is a coherent policy and regulatory frameworks that support the development of adequate power infrastructure for SADC region,” he added. 
Benson Munyaradzi, director of policy and planning at Ministry of Energy and Power Development in Zimbabwe, said that with all the energy challenges, the region is “facing a crisis”. 
“Most of us would want South Africa to be exporting power. When Medupi and Kusile (power plants in South Africa) program started, we thought, there would be excess power in the region,” he said. 
According to South African media, the Medupi and Kusile coal-fired stations, both unfinished and behind schedule, “have proved unreliable since being commissioned”.
Munyaradzi said that since December 2016, Zimbabwe’s power situation has been stable, but planned power outages would be implemented in the winter season. - Nampa/Xinhua

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