South Africans have been left in the dark quite literally as a result of load shedding. According to Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Phumulo Masualle, Eskom is working hard to ensure that it is able to address power plant defects.
The Deputy Minister made this announcement during a National Council of Provinces meeting which was held on Tuesday, March 16.
Eskom has downgraded the current nation-wide load shedding schedule from Stage 2 to Stage 1, and the public entity has managed to return four generation units at Kusile, Grootvlei, Kriel and Matla to operating capacity. This, however, has proven not to be enough as load shedding has not yet been properly suspended.
“There are two strategies going forward by Eskom. The first is that of heightened maintenance on some of the operating units, which has not been done over a period of time,” Masualle said, as reported by BusinessTech. “The strategy is to regain generating capacity. Some of the plants that are due for maintenance should be taken out. However, we continue to experience other breakdowns in other plants, which tends to create a situation where in a day, we have an excess of 1,1500 MW of power that is missed out of the rest of the generation fleet, which then makes load shedding unavoidable, in a sense.”
The Deputy Minister added that going forward, the department is working to ensure that improvements are achieved for the operational capacities at Medupi and Kusile.
“Attending to the defects that make us unable to achieve maximum output from there is a matter that is receiving priority. We are also working with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to accelerate (the acquisition) of additional capacity from independent power producers in order to close the capacity gap that is there,” the Deputy Minister added. “The measures and support that the department is giving to Eskom to mitigate the current environment.”