Eskom lays out plans to minimise load shedding

Acting CEO Brian Molefe says Eskom not implementing load shedding for 27 days is a sign of stability.

FILE: Last month the first of six generating units at the Medupi Power Station came into operation adding nearly 800 MW to the national grid. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Eskom has laid out plans to minimise load shedding over the next year while continuing with planned maintenance.

The utility has not implemented load shedding for 27 days.

Eskom's acting CEO Brian Molefe says this is a sign of the parastatal's state of stability.

Molefe says in the past, there was an emphasis on keeping the lights on at all costs, which resulted in maintenance being deferred.

He says this led to more unplanned breakdowns at plants.

Molefe says the utility is in a better position now than it was in December last year when stage three load shedding became a reality.

"I think it's the efforts of the different agencies in the government and the war room."

He says Eskom is working on securing gas to run its generators, which is expected to be cheaper than the billion rand a month it was spending on diesel.

"PetroSA have indicated that they have the capability to supply us with gas."

He also says Eskom supports South Africa's plans to build more nuclear power stations.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says South Africa is not out of the woods yet.

"We are better planning for [less load shedding] and more maintenance programme."

She says better planning helped the utility do maintenance without having to implement power cuts.

"We have got to this place where we are not having to load shed and do maintenance at the same time."

Last month the first of six generating units at the Medupi Power Station came into operation adding nearly 800 MW to the national grid.