As Eskom continues to implement rolling blackouts with the country currently on stage 6 power cuts, trade union Solidarity is emphasising the importance of Independent Power Producers (IPP).
Solidarity says IPPs will help add further energy supplies to assist in generation capacity.
Head of Solidarity’s Research Institute Connie Mulder says, “Eskom’s problems are due to a skills shortage. It doesn’t help that we haven’t got a lot of people knowing what to do in this crisis. But we, as a country, need an alternative solution and we need to start moving away from Eskom and start privatizing generation.”
Below is Mulders full interview with Connie Mulder:
Following the tripping of a generation unit each at Kusile and Kriel power stations, Stage 6 loadshedding was implemented effective 04:16. Eskom appeals to the public to help conserve electricity.
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) September 18, 2022
Western Cape contingency plans
The Western Cape Government says it has contingency plans in place for prolonged or more severe blackouts.
The Provincial Cabinet met during a special session on Sunday to discuss the implications of level 6 rolling blackouts as announced by Eskom at the weekend.
Premier Alan Winde says diesel levels for generators are currently at a satisfactory level. He says they have planned for various scenarios over the years.
Winde says, “These have knock-on effects on our sewerage pump stations across the province, they have knock-on effects on our ability to keep our water reservoirs full. They also have effects on our diesel levels in our emergency centres wherever they are in the province. You can imagine, we do not want to run out of diesel in a generation system during a blackout in one of our ICU’s, one of our hospitals. We have to make sure that we are monitoring our diesel levels at all times and that we have contingency plans.”
Eskom briefs the media on the current system challenges:
Meanwhile, Eskom CEO André de Ruyter has again appealed for electricity to be used sparingly as the power utility battles to keep the lights on.
De Ruyter says, “I have already requested municipalities in South Africa to access where they have low critical loads that can be switched off. I will also be engaging with representatives of organised business to request further assistance on managing particularly the peaks, similarly, the lighting of office buildings at night is something that can give us some room to breathe.”
Eskom has confirmed that the country will see a high level of power cuts in the coming days, this is due to a breakdown of generating units at Kusile, Arnot, Camden and Duvha power Stations.
De Ruyter says they will aim to access about 1 000 MW from existing independent power producers like Sasol and Sappi and hopes to have it online within two weeks.
“We have units out on planned maintenance of 7062. We have unit loses and partial load losses where we are running the unit but factors constrain us from using that unit at full capacity. The system has been under pressure as everybody knows since last week, This has caused us to run our reserves and our dams very hard,” says De Ruyter .