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Eskom: Money to buy more diesel running out

Reports say Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown confirmed Eskom spent R1 billion on diesel per month.

FILE: Traffic lights not working in Cape Town, as a result of load shedding by Eskom. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Electricity giant Eskom says while its budget for buying more diesel to sustain generators is quickly running out, it still has enough money to sustain its operational responsibilities.

The power utility has confirmed that its budget is set to be depleted by the middle of February despite being expected to last until the end of the financial year in March.

In weekend reports Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown confirmed Eskom spent about R1 billion on diesel a month and makes up to R10 billion which funds other expenses.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Pasiwe says the problems with its diesel budget will not necessarily affect maintenance.

"Money for operational issues is different from money set aside for the acquisition of diesel."

Earlier, the parastatal said it's using this weekend to build up emergency reserves on the power grid in a bid to prevent load shedding this week.

Eskom implemented stage one load shedding last week after it said two generators went offline.

The power utility was forced to implement load shedding several times last year due to limited generating capacity, problems at some power stations and technical issues.

The utility has admitted that two thirds of its system is running on old equipment and outages are sometimes caused when the machines experience a shortage.

Phasiwe said the emergency reserves were nearly depleted last week.

ESKOM CAN'T COPE WITHOUT ADDITIONAL POWER STATIONS

Eskom said it doubled its maintenance over the festive season but its efforts have fallen short of ruling out load shedding this year.

Although it has since stabilised, rolling blackouts are expected in the near future.

Eskom managed to make it through the festive season without implementing load-shedding, something many South Africans feared.

The parastatal's Andrew Etzinger said the company's technical team spent most of December maintaining existing power stations.

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