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Eskom mulls subsidising the poor with alternative power sources as South Africans suffer losses due to load shedding

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Eskom was looking at solutions such as subsidising alternate power sources, including generators and inverters, for poor households

Eskom was looking at solutions such as subsidising alternate power sources, including generators and inverters, for poor households. (File Picture: Savious Kwinika, CAJ News)

DURBAN – On Wednesday, Eskom’s distribution executive Monde Bala acknowledged that South Africans were suffering major losses as a result of load shedding.

He said Eskom was looking at solutions such as subsidising alternate power sources, including generators and inverters, for poor households.

This afternoon, Eskom CEO André de Ruyter is expected to update the country on the performance of the system. At 3pm on Wednesday, Eskom was sitting with planned maintenance of 7 261 MW. He said this was the capacity Eskom took offline in order to do planned maintenance.

“It was planned. These are outages where we have units out in Arnot, Kriel and Tutuka in Mpumalanga, and Medupi power station in Limpopo.

“We are carrying on with our planned maintenance. This means that capacity is not available. Our preferred time is during the summer months. However, the increase in ambient temperatures has exposed the weaknesses in our cooling water. This led to unplanned outages.

“Other losses pertain to coal and disposal of ash.”

The power utility also announced that it had served legal notices to some of the big municipalities and key industries that allegedly contravened instructions to implement load shedding.

The defaulters were also reported to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for action to be taken against them.

Eskom has also threatened to conduct compulsory load shedding if these entities continue to fail to comply with the instruction to load shed.

Bala outlined Eskom’s plans to act against them, saying their defiance could lead to a “great collapse” of the supply of electricity.

De Ruyter, on the other hand, was confident that load shedding would ease by Saturday, saying Eskom had managed to recover several megawatts into the grid from several of its plants in the country.

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