Load shedding is unavoidable: Eskom CEO

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Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has described load shedding as unavoidable, reiterating that the system remains constrained.

Eskom resumed Stage 2 load shedding on Thursday night and is expected to continue until Monday, citing system constraints and depleted emergency resources.

Speaking at a media briefing at Megwatt Park in Johannesburg, de Ruyter says the decision to impose load shedding on South Africans is regrettable but necessary.

“We are extremely scrupulous when it comes to the imposition of load shedding. It is not a decision that we take lightly or easily. I am personally involved in every decision to impose load shedding and it is very regrettable for us to have to do this to South Africa. But we cannot avoid it given the state of the system right now. The system is constrained, unreliable and unpredictable. It is prone to unplanned outages and breakdowns, and it causes us to have to burn diesel on our open-cycle gas turbines, which is an expensive way of generating electricity.”

De Ruyter further warned of the likelihood of more load shedding in the future as the power utility works to fix the system and perform scheduled maintenance.

“In the past, we have neglected to perform scheduled maintenance that is required and those legacies are clearly now coming home and causing us to have unreliable equipment. This will result in the fact that, or cause us to, have an increased probability of load shedding over the medium term as we fix the system and this is going to be something that is very carefully planned and we are going to develop a fully-fledged plan and part of that plan is also to make sure that we are able to buy in electricity. We will also increase our demand management efforts,” says de Ruyter.