Load-shedding is 'unacceptable and disruptive to our economy': Gordhan
Load-shedding, especially stage 4 load-shedding, is “unacceptable and disruptive to our economy”.
That is what public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said after a meeting with Eskom’s board and management on Saturday.
“It is clear that greater urgency needs to be applied to acquire equipment necessary for urgent maintenance. We agree with South Africans that the continuation of frequent load-shedding, and in particular stage 4 load-shedding, is unacceptable and disruptive to our economy.”
Gordhan met with the power utility to discuss its financial and restructuring issues.
“Board members and minister Gordhan were briefed over several hours about power supply shortages caused by problems with coal supply and the quality of coal provided to Eskom, low dam storage levels at hydro-plants, diesel supply shortages both to the country and to Eskom, the collapse of power supply imported from Cahora Bassa due to the natural disaster in Mozambique, and a large number of tube failures and breakdowns at local coal-fired power stations,” said public enterprises department spokesperson Adrian Lackay.
Cyclone Idai claimed at least 100 lives because of floods that have left 400,000 people displaced and in urgent need of shelter, food and other amenities.
Lackay said: “The national treasury and the department of public enterprises have committed to assist Eskom to fast-track, with the appropriate oversight, the procurement of essential goods and services that is required to urgently rehabilitate and repair generating units at local power stations.”
He added: “The South African public is requested to understand that many power stations are between 37 and 50 years old and many operate at sub-optimal levels due to their age.”
With no end in sight for load-shedding in South Africa, Johannesburg small businesses are bearing the brunt of Stage 4 load-shedding. Many businesses are left with only a few hours a day to do business.