Gordhan ill-advised on electricity issue: Blom

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Mining and Energy adviser Ted Blom says Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is putting the country at a risk of a total power shutdown.

This as Eskom promised to work hard to keep lights on this coming winter.

Gordhan gave an update on the power grid and plans to stabilise electricity supply at a media briefing on Wednesday.

Joined by executives from the power utility, Gordhan ruled out load shedding, reducing it to occasional stage 1 power cuts should it happen.

Speaking on Morning Live, Blom says the Minister has said Eskom is short of critical skills which means he is being advised by skills which are not sufficient.

He says you cannot dictate load shedding schedules, if systems operators need to shed more and they don’t, there will be a grid melt down.

Talking about aging infrastructure, Blom says Oil transformers need an oil change every seven years, but unfortunately they run forever.

He says: “Eskom cannot even do an oil change once every seven years. Captures want the transformers to blow up so more commission can be made from replacing them.”

Watch interview below:

Meanwhile Chief Executive at Eskom, Phakamani Hadebe, says Eskom will spend R45 billion on maintenance over the next five years.

Hadebe has encouraged South Africans to continue to save power and says public participation during March’s load shedding put a thousand megawatts back onto the grid.

He says the construction of Kusile and Medupi is 80% close to completion and cannot be abandoned as the projects will benefit the country in the long term.