Eskom heading in the right direction – but expect some setbacks: Ramokgopa

 ·27 Feb 2024

Interventions at Eskom power stations have been able to slash load shedding by some 600 hours during the December and January 2023/24 period as compared to the previous year.

A further 3,510MW of capacity has been clawed back into the system over the past year as a result of interventions at power stations.

This was revealed by the Minister of Electricity in the Presidency, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, who was updating the nation on Monday on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan.

“Over the period…of January 2023 to January 2024, we have been able to get back 3,510 MW as a result of interventions. These interventions are not complete.

There’s still additional work that we must do at Tutuka [Power Station]. Additional work continues to be done at Kendal, Matla, and the other power stations.

“If you were to take December of 2022 to February of 2023 and then you take the period of December 2023 to February 2024…the period of the year that was, we have experienced load shedding of about 1,800 hours.

“When you see the period a year later…we have had about 1,200 hours of load shedding. Essentially, we have been able to reduce the hours of load shedding by about 600 hours.

“We are going in the right direction,” he said.

Despite improvements, the Minister insisted that load shedding – in any form – remains “unacceptable”.

We are going in the right direction. Ultimately, we want to go into a situation where I’m able to stand before the public and say we have not experienced any hours of load shedding.

Load shedding in its totality is unacceptable.

“But we have come to a situation where it has become a daily occurrence, so gradually, we want to reduce that intensity of load shedding.”

The Minister added further that while maintenance of power stations has been ramped up – allowing generating units to work more at intended capacity and for longer – and load shedding intensity has slowed slightly, there will be setbacks like that which occurred over the past few weeks which plunged the country into Stage 4 and 6 load shedding.

We are going to have temporary setbacks; this was a setback. The team identified the root cause. These lessons will then be exported to other power stations so that we don’t suffer similar fates.

“We remain on the right course. The trend line remains positive. We are confident about our ability [and] the intervention on Eskom.

“If you were to add the new generation capacity, which is now throttled by the fact that we’ve got challenges on the transmission side, once we resolve those issues, we are on the right course…to deliver on the Energy Action Plan,” he said.

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