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No emergency yet over coal supply, says Eskom

The power utility says it has received approval from National Treasury to get additional coal from elsewhere.

FILE: Eskom's Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says six of its power stations don't have adequate coal supply at the moment but insists it’s not at emergency level yet.

The power utility says it has received approval from National Treasury to get additional coal from elsewhere.

Three of the affected stations were receiving stock from Gupta-owned Tegeta.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says: “They have very low stockpiles, and this is a big concern Eskom. We’re diverting coal from other stations so that we can keep the system running.”

In December, it emerged that Gupta-owned Tegeta threatened to shut down coal supply to Eskom just as the power utility discovered that thousands of tons of coal had gone missing.

Leaked minutes of an Eskom meeting revealed that managers were warned that the Hendrina power station could be forced to shut down. Alternatively, they would have to use expensive open cycle gas turbines or contend with load shedding.

South Africans were hit with rolling power cuts in 2008 as the power utility struggled to keep the lights on.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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