Five must-read Eskom stories

13 February 2019 - 06:17 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Eskom is currently implementing stage 4 load-shedding.
Eskom is currently implementing stage 4 load-shedding.
Image: Ngawkeaw

Troubled state-owned power utility Eskom is dominating headlines following the recent and unexpected implementation of load-shedding.

From the current power cuts to the utility's ongoing financial troubles, here are five must-read Eskom stories.

2019 load-shedding

The convenience that came with having no power outages for two months came to an end when Eskom made an unexpected announcement on Sunday morning that it would implement stage 2 load-shedding, meaning that 2,000MW of electricity would have to be shed on a rotational basis.

Eskom said in a statement that this was a result of a shortage of capacity.

Pravin Gordhan meeting

Executive management from Eskom held an urgent meeting with public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan after the utility implemented stage 4 load-shedding this week.

This was due to seven generating units tripping on Monday afternoon.

The challenges facing both old and new power stations were discussed at the meeting.

Ramaphosa on unbundling Eskom

To help revive Eskom, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his state of the nation address that he will unbundle the power utility. This means that Eskom will be split into three divisions that will see to the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.

Ramaphosa acknowledged that Eskom was in a crisis and that it needs to be dealt with before its effects damage the county's economic and social developments any further.

Load-shedding schedule mess

When load-shedding hit on Sunday, municipalities were also caught off guard as they were not afforded time to update their schedules.

Nico de Jager of City Power admitted that the abrupt implementation of load-shedding caught them unprepared. He said this was due to City Power using a different version of the schedule than the one used by Eskom. He later confirmed that the schedules were captured correctly.

Eskom's R15bn loan

Less than two weeks ago, Eskom secured a R15bn loan from a group of local and international banks. The debt-ridden facility is in a financial mess as its debt now totals R419bn. 

In a statement released by Eskom, the power utility said the loan would fund some of its capital expenditure programme.