25.1.2020 01:21 pm
Eskom has effectively borrowed on behalf of citizens, so any financial gaps will have to be plugged through electricity tariffs, higher taxes or painful cuts to public spending.
Since late last year South Africans have, once again, been subjected to power cuts by the power utility, Eskom.
The power utility said the system remains vulnerable to unplanned outages or breakdowns due to inadequate maintenance over a number of years.
The power utility has made no promises about the coming week though.
Generating units are being restored following breakdowns causing the loss of 13,543MW from the grid.
The power utility admits years of inadequate maintenance ‘leaves the system vulnerable’, with an ‘alarming’ output of only 56.76% in week one of 2020.
The power utility says this will be done in order to replenish water resources for its pumped storage schemes and minimise the use of diesel at the open cycle gas turbines.
The power utility adds, however, the electricity system remains constrained.
Andre de Ruyter had been due to start work on January 15, but the sense of crisis surrounding Eskom persuaded him to take the helm early.
Eskom says Sunday evening’s load shedding was terminated ‘earlier than anticipated’, due to water levels at pumped storage schemes having been replenished.
Load shedding is not going away and people don’t know the full reasons, experts say.
This follows the announcement of the first batch of SA’s unpopular ongoing rolling blackouts on Saturday evening.
This is reportedly due to an unanticipated conveyor belt failure at Medupi Power Station.
Equipment has broken down during the holiday season, during which demand was significantly lower, meaning the return of load shedding is likely as demand rises.
No load shedding is expected today or on New Year’s Day.
According to residents of Protea Glen, which is usually hit the hardest by the power cuts, there were no outages and they were pleased to be spared from the darkness.