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‘Eskom is working to minimise load shedding’

In the past few months, rolling blackouts have been implemented during the evening peak periods.

FILE: Eskom's acting CEO Brian Molefe admits that they are using their generators extensively but says the ambition is to minimise the impact of regular power cuts. Picture: Gaye Davis/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom's acting CEO Brian Molefe says the utility is over-working its generating units to minimise load shedding.

In the past few months, stage one and two rolling blackouts have been implemented mostly during the evening peak periods.

Stage three has not been implemented for three months.

Molefe admits that they are using their generators extensively but says the ambition is to minimise the impact of regular power cuts.

"Our machines are being run at a rate of 83 percent but the cost of load shedding is very high so we don' think the machines will go to a system of total system breakdown."

At the same time, Molefe says South Africa needs to go nuclear but the utility is not involved in these discussions at this stage.

Government has been meeting with several international investors, particularly Russia, about building a nuclear power station to help increase generating capacity in the country.

Molefe, who was seconded to Eskom from Transnet, says his mandate is to stabilise the country but he does believe that nuclear power would be a good option.

"Nuclear can give us electricity at the cost of about five or six cents per kilowatt. The problem with nuclear is the initial capital investment but once you are over that you can have for a lifetime or more very cheap electricity."