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WATCH | Eskom says SA must realise its system is 'old, unpredictable and has been in the red for years'

04 May 2022 - 11:39

SA needs to understand that Eskom’s system is “old and not maintained the way it was supposed to be”, the power utility’s CFO Jan Oberholzer said on Wednesday.

Addressing the media after the implementation of stage 2 load-shedding on Tuesday afternoon, Oberholzer said the system was “unreliable, unpredictable and in the red for years”.

“We all need to understand we have a system that is old, and not maintained the way it was supposed to. We need to take these units down for planned maintenance and we don’t have the luxury, because of the country’s demands. We are trying our best to match capacity to demand, but we have an unreliable and unpredictable system.  We will try our utmost to not load-shed the country. It does not take away that there is a high risk of load-shedding in the winter.”

Oberholzer and CEO Andre de Ruyter said stage 2 load-shedding will remain in place until 5am on Monday.

eThekwini municipality, which was hit by devastating floods, would be exempt from load-shedding.

De Ruyter said the peak demand for Wednesday night was 30,603MW, but only 29,004MW was available.

“What that means is we have a deficit between demand and availability.”

The power utility said on Tuesday the load-shedding was caused by a shortage of generation capacity owing to delays in returning generators to service as well as breakdowns of nine generators.

Since Monday, a generation unit each at Lethabo, Tutuka, Ingula, Drakensberg and Arnot, as well as two units each at Hendrina and Matla power stations suffered breakdowns.

Delays in returning generators to service at Arnot, Kendal and three units at Tutuka power stations added to the capacity constraints.

Oberholzer said demand changes in April as the winter profile is a high morning peak which becomes higher in the evening.

Industrial users’ highest usage is in late May.

“We usually ramp down on maintenance.”

He said reliability maintenance was an ongoing process.

From January 1 2021 to the end of April last year there were 29 days of load-shedding.

Since January 1 this year to end of last month there have been 25 days of load-shedding. Stage 4 load-shedding was implemented on four days since the start of this year.

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