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Eskom to unveil its winter plan

CEO Brian Molefe will also shed some light on the utility’s achievements over the last two months.

Acting Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom's acting CEO Brian Molefe will update the nation this morning on the parastatal's winter plan and his future at the utility.

Molefe will host his first briefing at Eskom's headquarters in Johannesburg after being appointed to the position in April.

This month, Eskom has managed to bring on two more units to the national grid, one from Koeberg and one from Medupi, but it's still battled with electricity consumption with load shedding being implemented on a regular basis.

Molefe has only held the position for two months, but today he will give an overview of the utility's achievements in that time.

He took over from Tshediso Matona who was suspended earlier this year, and then resigned following the launch of a probe into the company.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe said Molefe will also give an update on his future as he was only assigned to the position temporarily.

"He's here for a very short time until obviously the minister and the board announces otherwise. He'll give us a plan for how he wants to see things go."

The progress of Eskom's maintenance work will be discussed and how it plans to keep the lights on during winter.

ELECTRICITY TARIFF HIKE

The power utility has defended its decision to continue with its application for an electricity tariff hike, saying it simply cannot continue keeping the lights on without more money.

Eskom has applied for a 25.3 percent hike, including a 12 percent price increase which has already been approved.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has indicated that even if this is approved, it will only be implemented in the next financial year.

Phasiwe said it's important that they budget in the long term because they simply cannot afford buying diesel to keep the generators running.

"We are using about R2 billion a month to purchase diesel but the cost of not using that and having load shedding is costing the economy between 20 and R80 billion, so I suppose it's relatively cheaper to use diesel generators than to have load shedding."

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