South Africans have had to deal with stage 2 load shedding since Friday last week. Businesses and members of the public alike have had to make plans around being without power.
Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter says the power utility is planning to end the current round of load shedding on Thursday. He explains that generation capacity has been impacted by breakdowns in infrastructure and planned maintenance
Controlled power cuts have been estimated to continue happening for the next five years. This is due to a shortage of generation capacity. He says that Eskom has a shortage of around 5000 megawatts (MW) of energy. These 5000MW is needed in addition to the current power capacity at Eskom without any breakdowns.
De Ruyter says that once these 5000MW is added, the South African power grid will be much more stable and less susceptible to breakdowns that could cause load shedding.
The current load shedding is due to breakdowns that amounted to 14 760MW along with planned maintenance which to a further 5 277MW away from the power grid.
Last week the City of Johannesburg announced that they would be taking over the electricity supply in the city from Eskom. They also announced that they would be purchasing an additional 100MW of power from the privately owned Kelvin Power Station.
City of Joburg Executive Mayor, Mpho Moerane said, “The agreement we are signing answers the questions that have been in the minds of many since we started speaking about plans to take over the supply of electricity by Eskom in Johannesburg communities. The partnership will guarantee a reliable power supply in the City,”.
De Ruyter says that he thinks it’s a good more for the city to take over the electricity supply in the area. He has also welcomed the City of Johannesburg to do their own investigation to determine if debt amounts owed to Eskom is accurate.
We fully expect them to do their due diligence... We will be engaging with the CIty of Johannesburg to understand exactly how we can have a meeting on minds where we can have an exact quantum and what money needs to flow in what direction between the two parties” said De Ruyter.
The Eskom CEO also responded to Energy Expert Ted Blom around allegations that Eskom will be focused on investing in renewables. He said that the R300 million mentioned by Blom around renewables is to make the current coal-powered stations compliant with new emission regulations rather than building new renewable energy plants.