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Eskom: 'We’re now paying price for cutting back on maintenance'

The power utility has been criticised by unions and experts after the collapse of six generating units last week, which resulted in stage four load shedding.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says cutting its maintenance expenditure has had a major impact on the performance of its plants.

The power utility has been criticised by unions and experts after the collapse of six generating units last week, which resulted in stage four load shedding.

Eskom is battling with aging infrastructure which needs major maintenance to perform efficiently.

The power utility has admitted that it reduced its expenditure on maintenance by at least 50% over the past five years due to financial constraints.

It now has a debt of more than R420 billion.

WATCH: How did we get here? The Eskom crisis explained

Eskom’s Andrew Etzinger says they’re now paying the price for cutting back on maintenance.

“Money was prioritised completely to the construction of the new power plants, we are now paying the price for that whereby we are seeing unreliability of our older power stations.”

Etzinger says they’re now working on maintaining their plants to get them back to optimum level.

“We are now doing a lot of maintenance on them to get them back to working, unfortunately, that does mean a lot of them are out of service.”

Eskom says there has been some improvement in generating performance and there are now more than 30 days of coal stocks left.

“The grid at the moment is stable, I’m pleased to say that since last Monday we have made consistent progress in improving the situation. So, no load shedding has taken place today and we are not expecting any load shedding to take place for the balance of the day,” Etzinger added.