Eskom announces load shedding

Rand weakens.
Busa says finalising a least-cost IRP is the necessary first step towards stabilising the energy sector. Image: Supplied

South Africa was hit by power cuts on Wednesday after a number of Eskom generating units broke down, highlighting the challenge facing President Cyril Ramaphosa in rescuing the state power firm.

Eskom said in a statement that it would cut 2 000 megawatts (MW) of power from 9 am local time (0700 GMT) until 11 pm (2100 GMT) on a rotational basis across the country, the first power cuts in around seven months.

The rand fell around 1% against the dollar as the news raised risks for the country’s weak economic outlook.

Rand movements

Eskom Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer told state broadcaster SABC that the power system could be back to normal in a week’s time.

Eskom said more than 10 500 MW of its roughly 45 000 MW capacity was offline on Wednesday because of unplanned breakdowns.

Five generating units were unavailable because of boiler tube leaks, and a conveyer belt supplying coal to the Medupi power station had failed.

Due to a shortage of coal generation, Eskom’s supplies of water for its pumped storage and diesel for its open-cycle gas turbines had run low.

Eskom produces more than 90% of South Africa’s electricity but has been hobbled by technical faults at its fleet of mainly coal-fired power stations.

A financial crisis rooted in soaring expenditure, huge cost overruns on two mammoth power stations and years of low tariff awards resulted in a loss of more than R20 billion in the year to the end of March.

Ramaphosa has announced plans to split the utility into different units for generation, transmission and distribution to make it more efficient, but such change will take many years to implement.

The government has also pledged to provide a cash injection of R59 billion over the next two years, on top of R230 billion of bailouts spread over the next decade.

Eskom executives had achieved some improvements in plant performance earlier this year, but analysts say the company’s reserve margin had declined in recent weeks.

The latest power cuts come at a critical time for South Africa’s energy policy, as cabinet ministers prepare to debate the country’s long-term electricity generation plan this week.

Publishing that plan is seen as crucial to unlock sorely needed investment in power generation.

The government is also expected soon to unveil a new chief executive for Eskom after the previous CEO stepped down in July and publish a paper detailing further steps to reform the utility.

Focus on the IRP

In a statement released on Wednesday, Business Unity SA (Busa) says it advocates for an expedited gazetting of a least-cost, least-regret Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) option “that identifies the optimal energy sources required to power the economy and sustain and create jobs.” This follows widespread reporting that the IRP is to be tabled before Cabinet this week.

Busa President Sipho Pityana says “the finalisation of a least-cost IRP is the necessary first step towards the stabilisation of the energy sector.”

“The IRP has been subject to a substantive Nedlac process, and any further delay will prejudice urgent procurement and investment decisions that are necessary to ensure electricity supply security and the avoidance of further load-shedding. As the first quarter GDP results show, load-shedding significantly damages economic growth,” states Busa.

It said the gazetting of the IRP must be followed “by an immediate Ministerial Determination for the procurement of new generation capacity.”


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YES, please save electricity this week,
then we can watch this weekend japan defeating the springboks

you read it here first

So if we all use canndles for the rest of the week the generating unit will somehow fix themselves by weekend?

Those morons must do their work properly… maintenance and security over these facilities must be jerked up…. All they know is talk big in parliament and the media.

boom, you forgot about those container-sized-batteries they want to build?

Thank you ANC and a special mention to Mr. Jacob Zuma.

And then the ANC keeps hammering on about the 4th industrial revolution. Since 1994 they’ve taken us back to before the 2nd industrial revolution.

This came in the 1870s when electricity became widely used. These cadres can’t even keep 1870’s technology going, now they want to build robots. Let’s hope these are to replace the useless ANC cadres in the public service, although even a child’s toy robot has more savvy than a cadre so we’re not talking high-end robotics here.

Well done, ANC. Taking us back 2 industrial revolutions.

Shakin’ mah haid.

What about giving DD Mabuza a chance? Cant go any worse but he wont be pushed around and told what to do and what not.

The sarcasm and the negative pessimism in this country is overwhelming!
Something really needs to be done urgently, the alternative is that HNWI’s will continue to leave the country in droves. ANC, either take note of your tax base, or start printing money.

It’s one or the other!

The sooner the HNWI’s leave SA, the better – – – ANC logic says then there is more for them

LOL Coline, the first step of leaving is progressing ever faster. Printing of money has also started but first they have to loot the pensions and medical aids!!!!

yes, it is not a shortage of capacity but rather a shortage of competency!

Can you print money if there’s no electricity, even if the money is just electronic money?

You preach to the converted. I think that in SA there are basically two types of HNWI’s. One, those that were smart and hardworking enough to make their fortunes pretty much in a small group or o their own. e.g. Mark Shuttleworth. These guys are smart enough to be long gone.

Two, those that have made their loot out of tenderpreneuring, corruption and BEE e.g. Cyril Ramaphosa. They are now running the SA show that made them HNWI’s and they ain’t going to change anything until the last cent is looted into their bank accounts.

Wonder whats gonna happen with the rugby and loadshedding?

Who wants clean intermittent power, when you can have intermittent coal power! Whoop whoop. *sarcasm

Ramaposa, this is not the way govern a country…ha!ha!ha!
This load shedding just a few days to late…should have come while u were begging for money in a colonialist country!

Right on cue before the mid-term budget speech and Moody’s review…coincidence?

By the way, annual tariff increases well above inflation cannot be considered as low or minimal. In fact it merely drives inflation higher, thus decreasing currency value and power of purchase.

The Zuma faction at ESKOM flexing their muscles showing CR they still have the power to bring the country down to Zuma’s level. Not the type of power that will keep the lights on though.

This isn’t going to stop until more and more power production is in private hands.

We may not be able to afford our own Solar PV to stop day time load shedding. But one thing every one of us can and should do is change to energy efficiency equipment. Lights , fridges etc!!!

Once again there is no need for the load shedding. Once again the board of Eskom is playing power politics with the cabinet.
This is Africa negotiating by means of intimidation as usual.
The plans for Eskom will see a large percentage of the “workforce” removed. These jobs were created by cadres for their extended family and friends. Remember that 90 real engineers were encouraged to go and were replaced with 900 fake engineers. The work of the original people was then contracted out to instant BEE invoice generators for the purpose of looting. This is but a small and obvious example of the cadre deployment purpose. Now the cadres are the grand children of the original criminals.
The load shedding is a message to cabinet that the Eskom cadres will shut down South Africa if the cost reduction exercise is implemented. There is a lot of support from the pro-cadre gangster faction of the ANC that proportionally represent themselves in their parliament.

End of comments.



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