Eskom's Valentine's Day gift: Stage 2 load-shedding

14 February 2019 - 07:06 By Nico Gous
Image: Times Media

There is some reprieve for South Africans on Valentine’s Day as Eskom implements stage 2 load-shedding from 8am to 11pm.

“Due to some improvement in generation performance and the notable strides made in replenishing water and diesel reserves, stage 2 load-shedding will be implemented from 8am until 11pm on Thursday,” the power utility said.

“While there has been some improvement, the power system continues to remain vulnerable. Should Eskom experience significant unplanned generator trips, this could impact the magnitude and risk of load-shedding.”

Eskom said its power was unaffected by Cosatu’s national strike on Wednesday.

Eskom is technically insolvent and at the current trajectory it will not survive beyond April 2019.

Acting DG of the department of public enterprises Thuto Shomang told MPs on Wednesday morning that Eskom’s R420bn debt burden represents 15% of the sovereign’s debt and that if the power utility defaults on its debt, it will threaten the economy.

Shomang said cash generated by the company does not cover operating and debt-servicing costs.

The escalation of municipality and Soweto debt at around R28bn is another problem facing Eskom, including the increase in the number of Eskom employees from 32,000 in 2007 to 48,000 in 2018, with associated costs growing from R9.5bn to R29.5bn.

The costs for the plants have escalated significantly to more than R300bn – Medupi from R24.9bn to R145bn and Kusile from R80.7bn to R161.4bn.


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