Eskom has warned that load-shedding is here to stay due to no maintenance having been done on some of the units for years.
Cable theft, meter tampering and municipal debt also remain among the biggest problems but Eskom says it’s working tirelessly to deal with its issues.
“I believe we will see the first step-change in April next year. But the risk will improve up until the winter period next year,” said Eskom COO, Jan Oberholzer.
“However, up until then the chances of load-shedding remains. I would like to emphasise this point, that’s where we find ourselves and up until we have a chance to do adequate liability maintenance and mid-life refurbishment, we believe that we will get to a much better position.”
He also confirmed that a number of power stations had reached the end of their design life. This means that considerable generating capacity would have to be shed and that the risk of load shedding was still here to stay.
“We will therefore take out of commission over the next 10 years, between 8,000 to 12,000 megawatts of capacity and that will obviously create a short fall for generation capacity, going forward.”
But de Ruyter said there was light at end of the tunnel and he welcomed the procurement of 11,000 megawatts to the power system, which will – hopefully – diminish planned black outs.
While the problems are many for Eskom, it says its main priority is to have a viable and stable grid.