Big risk of load-shedding returning in the next month: analyst

Intellidex analyst Peter Attard Montalto has warned of a ‘very strong risk’ of load-shedding returning to South Africa in August or September.

Speaking to 702, Montalto said that Eskom is facing a number of operational issues which are yet to be fixed.

He added that these structural issues need to be publicly addressed, alongside the other issues the company faces during its results presentation on Tuesday (30 July).

“There’s always this gloss that’s put on everything and that’s what we don’t need. We want transparency about asset quality, about production quality (so) that we know what the risks are.

“There is actually a very strong risk of load-shedding coming up at the end of August and into the start of September, so it will be interesting to see if they recognise that,” Attard Montalto said.

“That risk has been talked about a lot amongst large users of electricity users in South Africa, and we should remember that the operational issues have not been fixed but have been put to bed during the winter months.

“They will come back as we move towards summer,” he said.

Bail-out

The load-shedding warning comes as Eskom is set to announce its second consecutive multi-billion rand annual loss on Tuesday.

The state-owned utility forecast in January that its loss would widen to about R20 billion in the year through March, from R2.3 billion the year before, Bloomberg reported.

However, the power utility is likely to receive enough money from government to cover the expected loss and lack of funding hole from the lower tariff increase, Attard Montalto said in a research note.

Last week, the government said that it would make an extra R59 billion available to Eskom over the next two years so it can meet its obligations.

“These amounts we think were specifically selected to be sufficient to get going concern sign off from the Eskom auditor next Tuesday,” Attard Montalto said.

“As such we expect the auditor to express some concerns on the standalone profile of Eskom but state that it is indeed a going concern thanks to shareholder support.”


Read: Jabu Mabuza appointed acting Eskom chief executive

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Big risk of load-shedding returning in the next month: analyst