Eskom’s planned huge upgrade of its transmission grid represents a golden opportunity to reindustrialise SA, create tens of thousands of sustainable jobs and hundreds of small businesses plus new export value chains.

The utility’s Transmission Development Plan (TDP) is expected to cost north of R210bn over 10 years and entail the “stringing” of up to 14,000km of line as well as the installation of 170 transformers, 40 capacitors and more than 50 reactors. It’s going to be a very big undertaking, but it’s an essential one. Without a robust, reliable grid, one that expands the grid’s footprint, we can build as many wind and solar farms as we can shake a stick at — but their electrons simply won’t get to where they’re needed. ..

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