Jan Oberholzer, Eskom Group Chief Operating Officer, alongside Eskom’s management team listed several challenges as reasons for ongoing power outages.
Lack of skills at Eskom and some contractors, finding the balance between demand and supply of electricity, appropriate experience, a number of breakdowns and electrical capacity remain as some of the ongoing challenges causing outages.
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Cooling temperatures not performing ensure the loss of much-needed capacity.
The CEO first apologized to the public for ongoing outages before restating that load shedding was implemented only as a last resort.
“It is to protect the integrity of the system,” Oberholzer said.
Eskom hopes to return close to 4 000 MW back to service by Monday with around 5 000MW by Wednesday.
This is after a challenging week where around 42 units generating units tripped, which led to the blackouts.
Eskom fielded questions around sabotage.
Oberholzer said there was nothing identified that may lead the team to believe in foul play.
“There’s been nothing channeled to the office regarding any subotage.”
Eskom has already spent around R7.7 billion to date.
“Looking at outlook and finalizing what the year end focus will be, we cannot provide an exact estimate but do know we’re over budget.”
“We’re going to overspend.”
He said Eskom was in an challenging situation were there was inadequate capacity to meet demands of the country.
“We have an old system that has been abused for 43 years,” confirming that the system had become unreliable.
Breakdowns and loadshedding
A system operator will continue to determine what capacity is required and when load shedding should be implemented.
“As long as the country does not have sufficient capacity, there will be imminent loadshedding,” Eskom said.
Eskom says fixing cooling towers, fixing plants, and increasing capacity was the goal at hand amid challenging issues of old infrastructure.
To date, Eskom has been cutting power every week in an effort to increase capacity and ensure much needed maintenance.
The power utility expects a challenging few months with some changes to their plans materializing only after 12 months.
This means consumers should brace themselves for a dim summer as Eskom sails past financial constraints in an effort to dock on a solution before old infrastructure retires
Also read: WATCH: Eskom briefing on power outages here
Featured image: Unsplash/Kenny Stier