Only three days of load-shedding during winter: Eskom CEO
Eskom is due to implement three days of stage one load-shedding in July when the country enters the height of the winter season, which was also the period when the expected peak of Covid-19 infections will be reached.
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter revealed this during an oversight meeting with parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises from the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.
De Ruyter told MPs that they expected to implement stage one load-shedding during July between 5pm and 8pm to minimise the effect of planned power outages on the economy.
“We're anticipating that if load-shedding is required, it will be during the evening peak only,” he said.
“We're working very closely with our industrial customers to ensure that we don't affect them unnecessarily ... You will have three days of load-shedding stage one, none on stage two and none on stage three.
“We're evaluating various scenarios and plans to make sure that we can continue to deliver on our commitments to the country to keep the lights on and we're making good progress in ensuring that we can deliver on our reliability maintenance programme and that will kick off on July 1.”
Prof Malegapuru Makgoba, Eskom's chairperson, said it was significant to note that it had been more than 70 days since there was load-shedding.
But critics have also argued that Eskom has been able to avoid load-shedding because of low demand during the lockdown when the economy went into a shutdown more than two months ago.
“Most of you may not realise that it's almost like 78 days that we last had load-shedding. Whether you ascribe that to the Covid pandemic or the low requirements of electricity, it's nevertheless a situation that has got the wellbeing of the nation at heart to have so many days free of load-shedding that obviously bothers everybody when it occurs.
“I think the staff at Eskom needs to be complimented for all the hard work and dedication that they are doing,” said Makgoba.