South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that negotiations have started for state-owned utility provider Eskom to import surplus electricity from Botswana, to address the energy crisis, Independent Online (IOL) news site reported.

The president had said earlier that Eskom will import power through the Southern African Power Pool arrangement to deal with the power grid's 6,000-megawatt electricity shortage over the next three months.

The Botswana government has expressed willingness to sell excess electricity to South Africa, he told a media briefing after the South Africa-Botswana business roundtable in Gaborone.

 “Our quest as South Africa to address our own energy challenge would be seeking to increase the capacity of our energy by also importing energy from our sister neighbouring countries, so those discussions have started and we want to proceed with them,” Ramaphosa said.

The president said that South Africa will be able to tap into energy sources from Botswana through various negotiations.

Eskom has ramped up its rotational power cuts during the evening peak period due to a shortage of generation capacity.

Last week, the company said any agreement with neighbouring countries’ power utilities will be subject to approval by South Africa’s energy department and the energy regulator.

(Editing by Cleofe Maceda;