Eskom: Medupi wouldn't have stopped power cuts

The power utility introduced load-shedding on Thursday for the first time in six years.

Eskom implemented load-shedding for the first time in six years on 6 March. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Medupi power station wouldn't have been able to prevent load-shedding, Eskom said on Friday.

The utility lifted its power grid emergency last night after being forced to implement load-shedding for most of Thursday.

Eskom says it had to implement the power cuts because coal supplies were wet after days of heavy rains.

This is the first time Eskom has implemented load-shedding in six years.

The parastatal moved to clarify the reasons for implementing load-shedding, saying it experienced a severe problem in providing power.

It said the situation was similar to what happened in 2008.

The electricity giant says although the emergency has been lifted and there are no power cuts scheduled, South Africans must still use electricity sparingly.

Eskom CEO Brian Dames says the utility would've needed more than what the Medupi power station could offer.

Company chairperson Zola Tsotsi echoed the sentiments.

"The situation will be with us for some time. Even the new Medupi units wouldn't have been enough to avoid yesterday's load-shedding."

Dames says the rainy weather is expected to continue over the next two weeks, which will affect coal stockpiles and put a lot of strain on the grid.

The utility expects problems with power supply to continue until next month.

Meanwhile, Eskom has been called to Parliament to explain Thursday's decision to implement load-shedding.

ESKOM UNDER FIRE

Eskom says South Africans must stop looking for someone to blame for the problems with the power supply and save electricity to avoid more outages.

The utility has come under fire from experts, saying it should stop shifting the blame and start taking responsibility for its inability to meet demand.

Energy expert Chris Yelland on Thursday said Eskom must face up to the idea that it is solely to blame for the country's power woes.

"When the weather is hot, they blame the hot weather. When the weather is cold, they blame the cold weather. When it's raining, they blame the wet weather. The bottom line is they're blaming everybody except themselves."

Yelland said Eskom simply hasn't been upfront with South Africans about the true nature of the situation.