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'Eskom is an old car that needs to be replaced, not fixed,' says Andre de Ruyter

10 November 2021 - 17:31
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says the power utility needs to be replaced, as repairs are too costly. File picture.
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says the power utility needs to be replaced, as repairs are too costly. File picture.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Eskom boss Andre de Ruyter said on Wednesday that the power utility was like an old car that needs to be replaced, not fixed.

De Ruyter was updating the nation on the continuous load-shedding plaguing the country.

“How much is required to fix Eskom? On an annual basis generation requires R10bn to R12bn to spend on maintenance. Our generation feed is on average 41 years old and we now need to introduce additional capacity to make provision for the plants that are reaching end of life.

“The question is not how much it will cost to fix Eskom. We need to buy a new car; it just costs too much to fix the old car. This is exactly the opportunity we have with the money made available by COP26. We can access international funding to a lower-carbon economy,” he said.

On the R131bn deal announced at COP26, he said at this stage SA was not a signatory to a commitment by 30 countries to stop pursuing new coal projects.

He also explained that a “blackout” was when an entire electricity system was unable to maintain its frequency, and “leads to the total loss of electricity transmission and distribution capacity”. This could last for “a number of days and, in some instances, even weeks”.

“So that is the catastrophic outcome we are trying to avoid by managing the demand through load-shedding,” he said.

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