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Eskom to stabilise power grid by next month

For the past few weeks, the country has experienced rolling blackouts every day.

The troubled Medupi Power Station in Limpopo. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Eskom has assured South Africans that the power system will be more stable from next month when additional generating capacity is brought online.

For the past few weeks, the country has experienced rolling blackouts almost every day during evening peak hours and on weekends as several units is out of service.

Eskom said this is mainly due to extensive maintenance work.

Eskom said it's running its diesel generators extensively and is trying to catch up with a major backlog in maintenance work.

But, it struggles every evening when electricity demand increases which is why load shedding has occurred almost every day for the past few weeks.

The utility's Kulu Pasiwe said they're expecting several units to be brought back online next month which will improve the situation.

"We're expecting Unit One of the Koeberg Power Station to come back online which will help us with an additional 130 megawatts.

Later on in June we're expecting about 800 megawatts from Medupi."

For the time being, South Africans have been urged to be patient as rolling blackouts are set to continue for the next two weeks.

TARIFF INCREASE

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has urged the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) to grant Eskom a tariff increase to help restore the power utility's financial health.

Nersa will soon hold public hearings after the parastatal asked for a more than 25 percent tariff hike.

While delivering her budget vote in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Joemat-Pettersson said Nersa should fast track the hearings.

"We employ Nersa to fast-track its process of public consultation for tariff adjustments to assist Eskom to stabilise its balance sheet."

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