Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister of Electricity, has stressed that South Africa can still expect load shedding as Eskom strives to enhance its generation system. During a media briefing in Pretoria, the Minister provided insights into Eskom’s generation capabilities, highlighting the ongoing unreliability of most units. According to SANews, he explained that planned maintenance is underway to address these issues systematically. Legacy problems, including underinvestment and inadequate planning for maintenance, contribute to the unreliability of South Africa’s grid.
Ramokgopa pointed out that the country would experience load-shedding-free days and days with load shedding, underscoring that Eskom aims to avoid exceeding Stage 4 levels during the summer. Despite low demand in late December 2023, Eskom utilised the period to conduct planned maintenance, preparing the fleet for increased demand in the future. The Minister acknowledged a decrease in planned maintenance, anticipating a rise in demand.
While Ramokgopa acknowledged Eskom’s progress in reducing repeat failures, he assured citizens that efforts were being made to prevent intense load shedding. He highlighted specific developments, such as the successful full load tests of Koeberg unit 1 and the synchronisation of Kusile Power Station’s unit 5, which is undergoing intermittent testing before full commercial operation.
Ramokgopa urged the public to participate in the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2023, emphasising the importance of written submissions to gather diverse opinions. The IRP is a crucial electricity generation plan to ensure a secure electricity supply while considering environmental factors and the total supply cost. Public input will be considered in the final policy-adjusted plan, shaping the future energy mix for the country.
Picture: X / Kgosientsho_R
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