Home South African Eskom says it won’t make promises on the end of load shedding

Eskom says it won’t make promises on the end of load shedding

88

Eskom bosses have refused to commit to exactly when load shedding will end. Although they want to end the power cuts in less than a fortnight.

File picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

ESKOM bosses have refused to commit to exactly when load shedding will end. Although they want to end the power cuts in less than a fortnight, they say the public should not get their hopes up as this might not happen.

During a media briefing on the challenges currently being experienced, Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said the system was being closely monitored and as soon as the situation allowed, Eskom would ensure that the load shedding stage was reduced.

“In about 10 days or so, we trust we will be in a position to lift load shedding; however, the risk remains because of the unpredictability and unreliability of the system that we are running.”

Oberholzer was speaking on the 73rd day of load shedding this year and after three consecutive weeks of rolling power cuts that have brought misery to South African homes and businesses.

Acknowledging that it was not what South Africans wanted to hear, Eskom chief executive André de Ruyter said load shedding would continue for the week, dropping this morning to Stage 2 from midnight to 5am, and returning to Stage 4 until midnight, and it would follow the same pattern on Wednesday and Thursday.

Eskom chief executive André de Ruyter. File picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

De Ruyter said: “By Friday we hope to move to Stage 2 load shedding from midnight to 5am and then Stage 3 from 5am to midnight. If all our units return as planned, we intend to lift load shedding for the weekend to Stage 2 around the clock.”

He said plans were being developed to address the power cuts as the country could not continue facing a lack of electricity security, which he said was acting as a brake on the economy.

Stage 6 load shedding was triggered by the loss of over 18,000 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity due to unit breakdowns and an unprotected strike by Eskom workers.

On the issue of whether there would be any legal action against the workers whose illegal strike expedited the higher stages of load shedding last week, De Ruyter said an internal disciplinary process had been launched alongside an external process involving the formal filing of complaints with the police.

“We are not going to merely accept that workers were able to go on an illegal strike and engage in acts of intimidation.”

Ahead of the Eskom briefing, in his weekly message to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote about the renewable energy procurement programme.

He said Eskom had made land available next to existing power stations for private investment in renewable energy projects and that design modifications had been completed to improve the performance of units at the Medupi power station.

He, however, said: “While these actions are significant and will bear fruit over the coming months, they are clearly not enough to address the crisis that we face.”

Previous articleMan dies in ‘drinking competition’ to finish bottle of Jägermeister
Next articleCrowds line streets for former PM Shinzo Abe’s funeral in Japan