Pressure mounts on Eskom to complete Medupi, Kusile

The ANC & DA say Eskom must accelerate the pace to complete the new power stations.

FILE: Eskom has warned load shedding is likely to be a reality for the next few months. Picture: EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have called on Eskom to complete the Medupi and Kusile Power Stations as soon as possible to avoid further load shedding.

Eskom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tshediso Matona gave an extensive briefing about the state of the country's power system yesterday and what to expect over the next few weeks.

South Africans have been experiencing regular rolling blackouts for several weeks now due to limited generating capacity and several problems that have occurred at existing power plants.

Eskom has assured customers that the country is far from a national blackout but has warned load shedding is likely to be a reality for the next few months.

Matona emphasised that there's no crisis.

"The way companies [media] report on the issue makes it seem like there's a crisis."

But the DA's Mmusi Maimane says load shedding must be declared a crisis.

"It's a national crisis that means that small businesses face the pinch as small shops close due to power cuts."

The ANC's Keith Khoza says the situation hasn't quite reached that point.

"It's a concern and an inconvenience but they have a plan to avert it from reaching crisis level."

Both parties however say Eskom must accelerate the pace to complete the new power stations so that they can be added to the national grid as soon as possible.

Yesterday, Eskom said there will be a low risk of load shedding on Christmas Day.

But from Thursday, the power grid will once again be under severe strain due to an expected shortage of diesel.

Video: 'SA not in power crisis'.

Eskom's inability to meet demand in December, when electricity usage usually dips, underscores the precarious state of South Africa's power supply due to years of underfunding.

The utility, which supplies virtually all of South Africa's power, said last month the government's promised R20 billion rand cash injection wouldn't be enough to ease funding constraints and help it avoid a credit downgrade

Click here to view Eskom's load shedding schedule.

Click here for an interactive map of the load shedding schedule in Cape Town.