South African power utility Eskom has announced that Stage 2 loadshedding will continue until Thursday, 14 October 2021.
Load Shedding has left members of the public and business without electricity. Nico Hinis who owns a restaurant says he feels like he's in an elevator. This as the lockdown levels dictated when and how business could operate and now Eskom is cutting the power for up to four hours a day.
Hanis describes the situation as a nightmare. He said, “the load shedding times come towards closing time and with covid, our curfew is at 11. Therefore all our customers have to be out by 11. Now the power of cuts coming between 9 and 10, it interferes with the core of the business and we have to start juggling and telling customers you have to leave”.
Energy Expert Ted Blom says that government officials should lose a day's pay for every day that load shedding continues. He says only then will the government feel the pain of losing income due to loadshedding.
He said, “we need a complete revamp of the whole energy supply chain because at this rate we're going to lose more jobs and more people are going to be unemployed and yeah it's just a disaster in waiting”.
Blom explains that there is a deliberate attempt by the government and Eskom management to cripple the coal power stations. He says this as they are being maintained.
He said, “I went on record and said that Eskom needs about 600 billion to do the catch-up and refurbishment of their coal fleet. Their current CEO who is a novice to the sector, but by now should have found his feet has come back and says that he needs about 300 billion and he's not going to spend that money he's rather going to spend it on renewables”.
Blom has also criticized current Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter who promised Eskom will be running properly in 18 months. Blom says De Ruyter failed at this as the loadshedding has been at its worst in Eskom's 98 year history.
“In fact you've got to look at the EAF, the energy availability factor that graph is headed down since 2001 and in fact the slope has increased in the last year or so. It's actually getting worse and it's getting worse faster and we need to have urgent intervention otherwise we might as well kiss our businesses and our smelters and our mining industries goodbye” concluded Blom.