Eskom CEO expected to clarify power crisis
The utility has been battling to keep up with demand due to several technical issues at its power stations.
JOHANNESBURG - Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona is today expected to give South Africans some clarity on the current electricity crisis.
The utility has indicated it needs additional funds to keep buying diesel which is running the open gas turbines to keep the lights on.
Eskom has been battling to keep up with demand due to limited generating capacity, ageing infrastructure and several technical issues at its power stations.
Economists, business and industry leaders are concerned about the impact of further power outages and the sustainability of electricity in the future.
Matona has spent most of his week meeting with board members and business stakeholders of what to expect in terms of electricity supply.
Some business leaders have indicated that Matona admitted that there was an energy emergency and that there is a real possibility of a national blackout.
Today, he's expected to give the country an indication of what to expect in the next few months with the utility's financial constraints firmly in the spotlight.
However it's unclear of there will be any announcement from government on its action plan to help Eskom both in the short and long term.
TIME RUNNING OUT
Business and industry leaders are calling for suggestions on how to survive regular power cuts which have been proposed in order to avoid a national blackout.
Eskom says load shedding will be a reality for the next few months as the cuts will help protect the power grid and prevent a complete national blackout.
It has indicated that unless it receives additional government funds, it will run out of money to buy diesel, which is being used to run open gas turbines, from mid-February.
These are being used extensively at the moment to make up for the shortfall in generating capacity after a coal silo collapse at the Majuba Power Station.
Time is running out for the utility to figure out how it is going to survive financially from February.
It needs additional funds to keep on buying diesel which is being used to run open gas turbines extensively to make up the shortfall in the electricity supply.
But there's still no word or action plan from government.
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Peggy Drodskie says Eskom's woes will affect everyone.
"The only thing we can say to businesses is take a look at the benefits of installing a generator."