Eskom says it is implementing a number of interventions to try and improve its service delivery and reduce load shedding.

The power utility’s CEO André de Ruyter says one of their concerns is non-payment for electricity by municipalities. He says the worst defaulter in the country is the Maluti-A-Phofung municipality in the Free State, which owes Eskom over R5 billion.

De Ruyter says they are trying to change the way that revenue is collected in the municipality.

” We have developed this active partnering concept with municipalities which we are trying to implement in Maluti-A-Phofung which is our biggest single municipal debt. They owe us about R5,9 billion and we are trying to get to a resolution there with the consent of the National Treasury that will allow us to act as the agent of the municipality, so it’s a multi-facet approach across the entire business.”

Load shedding

Yesterday, Eskom implemented Load shedding from 5pm to 10 pm this evening and it is not yet whether the power utility will continue to subject South Africans to planned power cuts over the remainder of this week.

Eskom has frequently had to resort to load shedding in recent years amid a historic lack of maintenance of aging power plants and allegations of widespread corruption.

Some experts say each stage of load shedding costs the economy as much as R700-million a day.

Conference to discuss energy sector

The Enlit Africa Conference, formerly known as the Africa Utility Week, kicks off at the Cape Town International Convention Centre today.

Local and international role players in the energy sector are expected to discuss evolution in the power and energy sector globally. One energy expert in South Africa, Ted Blom says he hopes the load shedding phenomenon will also feature prominently in discussions.

“Even the fact that we’ve run out of time and Eskom will start decommissioning the coal plants in the next five years, I guess the only solution is to open up the grid and let everybody supply as much power as they possibly want, subject to quality restrictions. Other than that it’s time to let go of the control system and open up the grid for everybody, that’s the only solution.”