Ramokgopa encourages Eskom to work hard to avoid intense rolling blackouts

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The Electricity Minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says Eskom must work towards building energy resilience and reliability to avoid intensified rolling blackouts.

Ramokgopa was speaking in Pretoria during a media briefing on the implementation of government’s Energy Action Plan.

“The grid remains vulnerable and susceptible to plummeting availability of megawatts. But the point I have been making consistently is that we should be able to build resilience and reliability of these units but also create an additional buffer so that as and when these units fail, there is a sufficient reserve margin to allow us an opportunity not to engage in any stage of load shedding or intensification of load shedding,” he explains.

Eskom is currently implementing Stages 2 and 4 rolling blackouts. It had imposed Stage 6 over parts of the weekend.

Ramokgopa has blamed a number of factors including poor planning for Eskom’s implementation of stage 6 rolling blackouts in the last couple of days. He says while the trend line has been positive in the last 21 days, there hasn’t been enough generation capacity to meet just over 32 000 megawatts of demand during peak hours in the last four days.

Ramokgopa says an unplanned loss of generation capacity diminished energy availability as demand increased.

“So the first one of those indicators that had gone south was the a availability as a result of lack of planning as it relates to the issues around the open cycle gas turbines and as it relates to how we’re able to replenish the water resources. But like I said it’s also as a result of fact that we have been running them as base load given the intensity of the demand and I think the colleagues caught off guard and they were not able to replenish, and it’s something that we’re working on.”

VIDEO Below: Electricity Minister media briefing on Energy Action Plan

The African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General, Fikile Mbalula says the governing party is confident that load shedding will end by this December. Mbalula was addressing the media on several issues concluded at the party’s National Executive Committee meeting on Sunday morning in Johannesburg.

Mbalula says the party has noted improvements in the national power grid.

ANC believes strides were made in keeping with election promises: