"The signing of the IPP means that Eskom will require less coal-fired electricity".
The Ramaphosa government however announced that it will proceed with the signing as well as the other renewable projects and the Eskom cap would not apply.
Radebe's comments follow a decision by the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) and non-governmental organisation Transform RSA's decision to approach the High Court in Pretoria.
"Eskom was planning to sign these agreements despite the fact that a previous application‚ by the Coal Transporters Forum to interdict them from signing is still pending at the North Gauteng High Court".
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) together with Transform RSA obtained the interdict at the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday night to prevent Eskom from concluding the outstanding renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) products‚ including the power purchase agreements.
Eskom in 2016 refused to enter into new deals with 27 IPPs due to cost issues and excess power generation capacity, causing significant delays in the development of the projects, selected under bid windows 3.5, 4 and 4.5 of the country's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
The saga surrounding the renewables-tied PPAs was supposed to end with their signing today, but grid operator Eskom will not be able to ink the contracts before a full hearing is held on March 27, 2018. "The reports in the media that an interdict was granted are therefore not true", said Radebe. The utility favored a nuclear-build program at the time and maintained a standoff on what was once a successful program by the Department of Energy to diversify South Africa's power mix and bring in billions in foreign investment.
"These programmes will contribute towards competitive market pricing of electricity‚ both for the household consumer as well as for industrial usage".
The ministry claims that the long-delayed REIPP projects would create 61,600 jobs with 95% of those going to South Africans.
"The government of South Africa reconfirms its commitment to a solid public-private partnership as we pursue our energy transition objectives of the future as well as a better life for all", he said.