Outa calls on govt to use IPPs as Eskom struggles with load shedding

Outa says it is deeply opposed to Eskom’s tariff hike application.

FILE: A wind farm. Picture: sxc.hu

JOHANNESBURG - As Eskom battles to keep the lights on, an activist group says that government should allow independent power producers into the sector.

Outa says it is deeply opposed to Eskom’s tariff hike application.

Outa's Ronald Chauke explains: “They need to find competitive electricity generating companies that will compete to supply us with electricity on an equal footing.”

Eskom has asked energy regulator Nersa for a 15% tariff increase per year for the next three years.

The power company says South Africans can expect more power cuts over the next 12 months.

During this period, maintenance will be taking place on the power systems, and other issues will be addressed, like a diesel shortage and low water reservoir levels.

But the power utility has given the assurance that this doesn't mean load shedding will occur every day.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says decisions by previous management to defer maintenance work in the past has led to the dilemma.

"The reason why over the last two years, 2016-2017, the maintenance that we are talking about now is primarily coming from that era where we did not do maintenance and unfortunately these decisions are coming back to bite us resulting in load shedding."

Click here for Eskom's load shedding schedule.

Additional reporting by Monique Mortlock.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)