Eskom’s head of power generation Bheki Nxumalo has said that loadshedding will “most likely” resume next month.
Speaking to Sunday Times, Bheki Nxumalo said that loadshedding could take place from May, once lockdown has been lifted and will continue until August 2021.
International lockdowns have prohibited Eskom from obtaining vital parts needed for maintenance. These include turbines and control systems. It has also been unable to bring in specialised engineers to work on the necessary equipment.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mant-shantsha said to the Sunday Times: “It’s not the deep-cycle maintenance that needs to take place. The maintenance needed is the kind where massive boiler and turbine components are replaced, especially at Kusile and Medupi power stations.
“That cannot happen because the borders are shut and supplies and specialists, who are behind the design and manufacturing of these parts, cannot be brought into the country.”
“In reality there are power stations which are badly damaged and will need deep repair interventions and will not suddenly be able to meet demand”.
As a result of lockdown and non-essential companies closing, there has been a decrease in demand for electricity.
Maintenance has been conducted during lockdown but it is not sufficient enough. According to EWN, Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said: “We do expect that when lockdown is lifted, that the demand will pick up drastically. We are getting ready and all our plans. I do not believe what the risk of load shedding has left us. It’s still going to take us, I believe, at least until July next year in order for us to say that we’ve done proper maintenance to say that the risk of load shedding has disappeared.”