Eskom takes back its load shedding threat

Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has retracted a previous threat that a lower-than-expected tariff hike for the group would lead to load shedding.

Molefe made the comments in early March after Nersa granted Eskom a 9.4% tariff hike, when the company had asked for as much as 17%.

Nersa announced that it would not grant Eskom the R22.8 billion variance it requested for the costs incurred in the production of electricity in the 2013/14 financial year.

It instead approved an amount of R11.241 billion, which amounts to a 9.4% tariff increase for the 2016/17 financial year.

Molefe said Eskom had reduced its diesel usage in recent months and improved its maintenance plan. “However, we continue to run a constrained grid,” he said at the time.

“(Gas turbines) are part of our emergency portfolio and have been used in the past to avoid or limit load shedding with the understanding that we can recover these costs within the RCA process.

“The recovery of diesel costs is now seriously in question with Nersa’s current decision.”

However, the CEO has now changed his tune on the matter, and said that management had found a way to not resort to load shedding, Fin24 reported.

“We did indeed warn that the lower tariff hike could result in problems keeping the grid stable,” Molefe told Parliament’s oversight committee on public enterprises.

“However, we as management went on a three day retreat to look at the implications of Nersa’s decision and I’m happy to report we put measures in place to make sure that load shedding doesn’t happen.”

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Eskom takes back its load shedding threat