SA’s electricity problems 25 years in the making – expert

What will it take for Eskom to be able to supply the entire South Africa with power?

Eskom's Medupi power station. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - With stage two load shedding being implemented from 8am to 10pm throughout the weekend, Eskom says it’s cleaning up its act by holding employees accountable and suspending two general managers.

But experts say no management will ease the country’s power supply problem.

The utility suspended the general managers of the Kendal and Tutuka power stations for poor performance that led to the implementation of load shedding.

Acting managers at Kriel and Duvha were also removed.

South Africans have had to deal with stage 4 load shedding this week and will today be experiencing stage 2 power cuts.

There have been conversations around better maintenance of power stations with an already aging fleet, but there are questions about what it will take for Eskom to be able to supply the entire South Africa with power.

Energy expert Adil Nchabeleng said Eskom’s capacity was 25-year problem.

"The only time Eskom will be able to give sufficient, more than what is required energy solutions is when they build brand new power stations, and the fact that Medupi is not completed will be even more difficult," said Nchabeleng.

Another expert Chris Yelland said Eskom’s deep level maintenance was not the ultimate solution.

“The most you can hope you for by doing this deep level maintenance is to create a holding pattern which prevents the further decline in the energy availability factor from its current very poor level,” said Yelland.

Eskom said its board and management had been meeting with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to interrogate the systemic causes of load shedding.

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