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Molefe: Eskom finances not as bad as it seems

The new acting Eskom CEO says the power utility's problems can be solved & every South African can help.

FILE. New acting Eskom CEO Brian, members of the Eskom board & top executives briefed members of Parliament and the media in Cape Town yesterday. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Eskom's new acting CEO Brian Molefe is insisting that Eskom's financial position are not as bad as it may seem and says the power utility's problems can be solved.

Molefe, who along with members of the Eskom board and top executives briefed members of Parliament and the media in Cape Town yesterday, says says the campaign to save electricity should continue well beyond the current energy crisis.

He says the country must reduce its reliance on coal, which is currently the source of more than 80 percent of energy supply, and that reduced demand for electricity will also help Eskom's bottom line.

"In fact, if there's less electricity required our cost will also come down, because we will not burn as much coal and burn as much primary sources for electricity. It's not about the profitability of Eskom is about the sustainable way of providing electricity."

The acting Eskom CEO says the power utility is now focused on finding ways to do maintenance on its aging fleet of generators without load shedding.

He says an extra 3,000 megawatts is needed to close the gap between peak demand and available power when plants are shut down for maintenance and others break down unexpectedly.

LOAD SHEDDING

Molefe says load shedding could be over by the end of the year if the extra 3,000 megawatts is found quickly.

"Where can we get additional capacity, to enable us to do maintenance without load shedding? Because I think at this point the issue of maintenance is not negotiable."

New coal fired power stations, Medupi and Kusile will now only fully be on-stream later, in 2021, with 18 months of work days lost through strikes at Medupi alone.

Molefe says every South African can help, by using less electricity. He says he understands the irritation and cost to the economy by load shedding.

But he says he has to be endured for now.

_ Click here to view EWN's cartoon on Brian Molefe and his new post at Eskom_.

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