Energy expert from the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI)- Professor Sampson Mamphweli, says there’s a glimmer of hope as a result of the power utility’s maintenance plan. This as the country has been put on stage five– of rolling blackouts indefinitely by Eskom, due to unplanned outages that continue to plague the utility.
Mamphweli says proper maintenance of the fleet is necessary.
“The problem is still the inherent problem of the unpredictability of these units- which basically means that instead of fixing the units that are breaking down- we need to take down all the units one- by one- or in a particular kind of sequence and then maintain them. Even if it means putting the country on stage three- load shedding for a year- we need to do that. Because we know that after a year- we will have reliability, and reliable supply of electricity.”
Analysis on Eskom’s update on performance of the grid: Prof Sampson Mamphweli:
In a statement released, Eskom says it has successfully replenished its pumped storage dam levels over the past 48 hours and brought some generation units back to service.
Stage 5 loadshedding will be implemented from 12:00 midday until further notice pic.twitter.com/vPSMJP4Yu1
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) February 11, 2024
Earlier on Sunday, electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said that Eskom would not cut corners in order to spare the country higher stages of load shedding. Ramokgopa has described stage 6 load shedding as an outlier and a setback that should be a thing of the past this coming week.
Nine units broke down at Eskom power stations over the weekend due to boiler tube leaks that saw losses in generation capacity.
Ramokgopa says a team of technicians is working around the clock to minimise the current electricity supply constraints with two of the nine units that broke down now back up.
He says load shedding will be taken down to stage four on Wednesday.
“Those nine units that went out as a result of boiler tube leaks, two of them have been returned, a number of them are returning tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday and we should see what we have established as a trend of not going above stage 4. And with the kind of strides we are making, we should be in a position to address load shedding.”
Minister Ramokgopa briefs media on the performance of the electricity grid: