Eskom, DPE working hard to resolve load shedding

Gordhan was answering questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Pretoria | Updated: 29-09-2022 17:35 IST | Created: 29-09-2022 17:35 IST
Eskom, DPE working hard to resolve load shedding
The Minister warned that although Eskom is working to resolve its issues, load shedding remains a possibility in the immediate future. Image Credit: Twitter(@SAgovnews)
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Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has reiterated government and Eskom's commitment to ensuring that the power utility surpasses the challenges it is currently facing.

Gordhan was answering questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The power utility has been under severe pressure with continuous breakdowns at power stations, slow returns to service of generation units, and most recently a lack of diesel for open cycle gas turbines leading to uninterrupted days of stage four to six load shedding.

"There will eventually be no more load shedding once we have more megawatts connected to the system. It's not going to happen overnight. As we recover [from the impact of State Capture] and as we improve the performance of the plants, we will have more megawatts coming onto the system.

"To be frank with the South African public and as government has said repeatedly, we could still have load shedding for another 9 to 12 months. We want to limit it to stage two load shedding if at all possible and the Eskom management at a power station level needs to make sure that those plants are maintained properly, they run efficiently and they minimise the discomfort for citizens and for businesses as well," Gordhan said.

The Minister warned that although Eskom is working to resolve its issues, load shedding remains a possibility in the immediate future.

"We work hard every single day with every single entity to make sure that the impact on the economy and the impact on the people is minimised to the extent possible. Load shedding…is because of the history of Eskom, the malfeasance we've seen in Eskom and the slow rate of recovery as well," he said.

Responding to questions on Eskom's proposed 32% tariff increase, Gordhan said the power utility needs to exercise cost saving methods such as reducing diesel and coal costs, in procurement processes and addressing poor contracting work.

"The middle class and the poor both will have some impact in the context where inflation is increasing, interest rates are increasing and therefore the cost of living and the cost of doing business will also be impacted in a negative way.

"The poor in South Africa have their impact mitigated by the free basic services that are provided, part of which is a subsidy on the side of electricity itself.

"We need to be frank that Eskom itself, although it says that it requires cost recoverable tariffs, needs to do more to undertake savings that result in the reduction of avoidable costs. [The] 32% is definitely not affordable by the public and by this economy at this particular point in time," he said.

(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)

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