Eskom vows to fix old infrastructure

Stage 2 load shedding was implemented and was expected to last until 11pm on Saturday, and continue on Sunday.

Eskom's Megawatt Park offices in Johannesburg on 12 March 2015. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As the country on Saturday grappled with stage two load shedding, Eskom vowed it would spend the rest of the weekend replenishing depleted emergency generation reserves.

The power utility said over the past few days there were unforeseen breakdowns from its ageing and unreliable infrastructure.

Stage 2 load shedding was implemented and was expected to last until 11pm. Eskom Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said load shedding would be repeated on Sunday.

It said 10,208 megawatts of capacity was unavailable due to unplanned maintenance.

Mantshantsha said, “This load shedding is necessary to replenish the emergency generation reserves during the weekend, in order to better prepare for the week. We have increased the amount of maintenance during this lower demand period.”

At the same time, Eskom said it would approach National Treasury with a request to continue doing work with ABB provided the Swedish-Swiss company made no profit.

On Friday, the special investigating unit announced that R1.56 billion rand would be paid back to Eskom from a bogus deal.

ABB was contracted to provide Eskom with controls and instrumental work for the Kusile Power Station for R2.2 billion.

The company disclosed its involvement of alleged collusion with some Eskom employees.

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said it didn’t make business sense to end their contract with the company.

“For Eskom to now approach the market and appoint a new contractor with different technology, it will create a real risk of claims from other contractors for standing time amounting to about R1 billion and will substantially increase the risk of load shedding over the next four years.”

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