Aging infrastructure a factor in current rolling blackouts: Expert

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Energy expert Matthew Cruise says the current heightened rolling blackouts have nothing to do with sabotage. This after the African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Fikile Mbalula took to his X account to attribute Eskom’s implementation of stage six rolling blackouts to sabotage.

Eskom, which has reduced them to level five, says it has lost generating capacity after nine of its units at various power stations failed.

Cruise says aging infrastructure is partly to blame for the current situation.

“So as the power stations get older, they decline their ability to produce power. What we are seeing is that the nine co-powering station units have come down to boiler tube leaks that have caused this stage six load shedding that we are seeing right now, so that’s the direct cause. But the underlying cause is that these power stations are old. So I do agree that it’s not sabotage because the boiler tube leaks in the part of the power station where the call is being fired is very hot there, so you can’t get there. You can’t actually be there, to actually damage the tubes because it’s inside the place where the furnace is.”

Energy Expert Chris Yelland weighs in: 

Meanwhile, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa is not able to indicate when rolling blackouts will end.

He has defended President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement during his  State of the Nation Address (SONA) that the government was confident that the end of rolling blackouts was finally within reach.

Ramokgopa told the media in Pretoria on Sunday that the current heightened rolling blackouts were a temporary setback that should be resolved by Wednesday.

“What was the amount of load shedding in February of 2023 compared to February of 2024? It’s coming down. That’s the point I’m making. And it’s on account of the fact that the units will return, as I say they will return units one, two, three and Kusile.”

“Unit number five is synchronised. It’s coming down and that’s why we’re saying it’s within reach,” explained Ramokgopa.

The video below is reporting more on current episodes of higher rolling blackouts:

-Additional reporting by Diteboho Ntamane