Eskom says it will implement stage 2 load shedding on Thursday, a day after Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene granted Eskom a R23 billion lifeline in his 2015/16 budget in the National Assembly.
“We regret to announce that stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 10:00 to 22:00 today.
“Any additional changes on the already vulnerable and constrained power system could lead to a change in the stage at short notice,” the power utility said in a statement.
Nene said that government may also convert its subordinated loan to the embattled electricity supplier to equity.
“Government could also consider other interventions such as converting its subordinated loan to equity to support Eskom’s budget sheet,” Treasury said in its budget review document.
Nene also proposed tax measures to promote electricity efficiency, including a temporary increase in the electricity levy from 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) to 5.5c to assist in demand management.
“The additional 2c/kWh will be withdrawn when the electricity shortage is over.”
The second proposal was for an increase in the energy-efficiency savings incentive from 45c/kWh to 95c/kWh.
“Other measures under consideration included enhancing the accelerated depreciation for solar photovoltaic renewable energy.”
Nene said the proposals would be discussed with industry, Eskom, the National Energy Regulator of SA, and other interested parties.
Last week, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said that Medupi’s unit six turbine was now running at optimum speed.
This paves the way for the synchronisation of unit six, which she expected to happen “within weeks”, the minister said.
Browne said government was fast-tracking regulations to enable Eskom to boost its supply by signing contracts with private-sector power producers.
“By April 2015 this will add 1000 megawatts (to the grid),” she said.
Brown said the that government is also hatching a plan to claw back the R4.75 billion owed to it by municipalities.