Tensions are heightened after Eskom’s chief executive, André de Ruyter’s media briefing yesterday as South Africans bear the brunt of loadshedding. And the EFF is part of those frustrated parties, who have called on De Ruyter to step down. However, De Ruyter said he would not abandon his position.
The EFF added that President Cyril Ramaphosa should also remove “unethical” and “incompetent” Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Since then, De Ruyter delivered an additional virtual media briefing at 3pm on Wednesday, November 10, to discuss the current system challenges that sparked stage 4 loadshedding.
He mentioned that the power utility has seen good recovery since the country went into stage 4 loadshedding earlier this week, and expressed that there’s 7,261 MW of planned maintenance taking place as of this afternoon.
“Summer months typically have lower demand overall which means that this is the preferred time to do maintenance, but the increase in temperatures has led to an increase in water temperature which has led to unplanned breakdowns,” he said.
De Ruyter further emphasised that loadshedding is not a euphemism, adding that Eskom is trying to avoid a blackout by managing demand through the form of loadshedding.
There is now 11,130MW off the grid due to unplanned outages or breakdowns, De Ruyter expressed, a significant improvement where at one point, the utility faced as much as 17,000MW in unplanned outages.
“We remain on track for lifting load shedding at 5am on Saturday,” says De Ruyter. We have been able to recover emergency diesel reserves, he adds.