The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Eskom to provide the nation with daily updates and forecasts on the status and stability of the power grid.

Eskom’s Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer earlier admitted that due to the neglect of the utility’s power plants, the grid remains unpredictable and unreliable.

Eskom CEO Jan Oberholzer gives an update on the state of the power utility:

The DA says the admission seems to indicate that as the country is gradually moving out of the hard lockdown, it is slipping back into a complete electricity meltdown, further haemorrhaging the economy.

Eskom has urged members of the public to brace themselves for load shedding, which will be limited to three days this winter. However, the power utility has not specified when stage one load shedding will come into effect.

Eskom also says it’s focusing on its procurement spending despite the challenges it’s facing, such as rampant theft and vandalism.

Oberholzer says consumers will be informed ahead of time. “Before we had the lockdown, we focused on 31 days of stage one load shedding. So, what has helped us the last eight weeks doing this urgent maintenance, short-term maintenance when we ran the model again. We are now forecasting three days of stage one load shedding over the winter period that is coming.”

The power utility’s Group Executive for Generation, Bheki Nxumalo, says during the lockdown, they have recorded a two million ton loss in coal supply.

“With the lockdown, we had to declare a force majeure in our specifically primary energy for our coal suppliers because with the lockdown, we have seen a two million ton drop in terms of the coal that we are supposed to burn. So, obviously, that came with some other challenges as well for the stations because this million ton we needed to put it on our stockpiles, but because stockpiles have also got a legal limit that we need to observe all the time. Hence we had to issue the notice to our suppliers of coal that we might not be able to take all the coal as we had planned before the lockdown.”