South Africa’s newly appointed energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has postponed the signing of agreements between state-run power utility Eskom and renewable energy Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Business Report newspaper said on Tuesday. South Africa is diversifying its energy mix away from an over-reliance on coal-power plants to include greener wind and solar projects. The deadline for signing was on Tuesday, but Kubayi’s office asked for the signing to be delayed until she had met with public enterprises -minister Lynne Brown, who oversees Eskom, the newspaper said.
“The process is in their hands. Once they have met and they have agreed on this and that, then we as Eskom we will sign,” Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told Reuters. Officials at the energy minister’s office were not immediately available to comment. Producers of solar and wind power have put pressure on Eskom to sign more new renewable energy contracts. Industry experts have said that Eskom slowed the pace of agreeing new renewable energy contracts after power supply in South Africa stabilized last year, following shortages in 2015 that led to rolling power cuts.