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‘Load shedding could be terminated by the end of the year’

Eskom’s acting CEO says an extra 3,000 megawatts could end load shedding before the end of 2015.

FILE: Eskom has been implementing load shedding due to extensive maintenance work that is being done on the generators. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Eskom's new acting CEO Brian Molefe on Wednesday said load shedding would not be necessary if an additional 3,000 megawatts could be fed to the national grid.

Molefe had been briefing Members of Parliament (MPs) on the energy and public enterprises oversight committees on the current power situation in the country.

He said in his assessment, Eskom's financial position was not dire and that the parastatal made a R21 billion profit last year.

Molefe also said the lights were on 96 percent of the time.

He said if the country could find an extra 3,000 megawatts of generating capacity, load shedding might be over by the end of the year.

He said the country had enough generating capacity at 43,000 megawatts but it needed to cut that by 5,400 to do much overdue maintenance.

Molefe said that brought supply to below what's required and that meant load shedding.

But he said Eskom could find the additional 3,000 extra megawatts needed by the end of the year.

Eskom has been spending up to R1 billion per month (sometimes more) on diesel supplies to keep the lights on.

EWN takes a look at what exactly R1 billion can buy.

Meanwhile, the likelihood of load shedding continuing for the rest of the week remains high, especially during the evening peak hours.

For the past two days the utility has implemented stage one of rolling blackouts between 5pm and 10pm.

This is mainly due to extensive maintenance work that is being done on the generators.

Energy expert Chris Yelland said Eskom was already behind on maintenance.

"They need to work on their maintenance backlog and improving the performance of the existing generators and this is another relatively short term win. But unfortunately it may require further load shedding in order to do this maintenance to address this backlog."

Check out EWN's easy-to-use _ load shedding schedules here._

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