Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, says he has asked Eskom to work with municipalities to ensure power supply to large industrial companies and businesses, as the country will enter another day of stage 4 loadshedding on Monday and Tuesday.
The country’s been plunged into darkness as Eskom implemented stage 4 loadshedding over the weekend.
Gordhan met Eskom’s board and management on Saturday after the cash-strapped power utility announced it was implementing stage 4 loadshedding. This was because power imports from cyclone hit Mozambique had been suspended and a number of local generators had tripped.
Date: 17 March 2019
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) March 17, 2019
Load shedding is estimated to cost South Africa around R2 billion per day in lost production among other things. Gordhan says Eskom needs to place greater urgency on acquiring equipment for plant maintenance and has acknowledged that stage 4 loadshedding is not acceptable as the country battles to grow the economy.
Loadshedding causes major disruptions in SA
Earlier on Sunday President Cyril Ramaphosa has acknowledged that loadshedding has caused major disruptions in the country. The President says urgent steps are needed to get to the bottom of the blackouts.
“The current loadshedding was caused by the cyclone. We have already sent the defence force to try and see what we can do there. This is happening at a time when Eskom is going through challenges and we are very sorry to South Africans.”
Energy analyst Chris Yelland says small scale domestic and business solar power installations could alleviate pressure on the grid.
But he’s blamed the delays in finalising the regulations on Energy regulator Nersa’s red tape.
“A number of applications for small scale generations have been held up at the regulator’s office. It’s something that must be done quickly and it would unlock more power and would cost Eskom nothing.”