Eskom anticipates maintenance plan to continue for at least 18 months

The plan will force the utility to implement rolling blackouts, meaning load shedding will continue for some time.

FILE: Eskom CEO André de Ruyter. Picture: Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom on Friday said it anticipated that its maintenance plan aimed at fixing its ailing system would go on for at least 18 months.

The plan will force the utility to implement rolling blackouts, meaning load shedding will continue for some time.

Eskom produces more than 90% of the country's electricity, but the ailing fleet of coal-fired plants have struggled to keep up with demand.

New CEO Andre de Ruyter briefed the media at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg on Friday.

De Ruyter said the maintenance plan was necessary in order to repair Eskom’s failing system.

He said the cash strapped utility would need more money and possibly another government bailout to carry out the maintenance.

“We absolutely cannot go back to government cabinet and ask for more money while we waste... while we don’t spend the money wisely. The first port of call is to optimise and manage our own resources better internally and that is the programme that we are driving.”

Eskom said load shedding was necessary in order to avoid a complete system collapse.