Minister of electricity promises happy days on the horizon

Loadshedding will be implemented at lower stages by the end of the week, according to Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokpopa.

Ramokgopa was addressing the media in Pretoria after Eskom said on Monday that it will implement stage six power cuts from 5am on Tuesday.

The power utility said the dreaded stage-six loadshedding will be rolled out until further notice.

“Our pump stage capacity in the system is starting to recover,” said Ramokgopa, noting that planned maintenance has been accelerated.

“Stage 6 is largely on account of ramping up planned maintenance and unplanned capacity loss.”

The minister said while planned maintenance took place over the weekend, various other units broke down on Sunday. 

He noted that there must be no compromises on planned and philosophy maintenance of electricity generation units.

The National Treasury has since granted the power utility R254-billion to ensure that the state-owned entity invests “heavily” in maintenance.

“We are going to stick to planned and philosophy maintenance. We do accept that in the short term it is going to result in the possibility of intensified loadshedding,” he said.

“That’s because ramped up planned and philosophy maintenance is accompanied by an unplanned capacity loss factor.”

He added that although the country reached stage-six loadshedding at some point in the past, it was not as severe as anticipated.

“If the unplanned capacity loss factor was to reach 18 000MW+ and that peak demand was going to be about 33 000MW, we were going to reach higher stages of loadshedding, even stage eight and beyond.”

Ramokgopa also noted that the country has moved on to summer months, and the demand for electricity has gone down.

“We are ramping up on our planned maintenance to ensure that we are able to build a degree of resilience in the system to make sure that the units are reliable and give us as many hours of generating capacity as possible,” he said.


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