Bid to lower intensity of load shedding on track

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Minister Ramokgopa.

Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says it is important for Eskom to up the reliability of generating units in order to maintain the credibility of efforts to lessen the intensity of load shedding.

The Minister was speaking at Arnot Power Station in Mpumalanga on Monday, where he kicked off a series of follow-up visits to power stations.

“We are on track to reducing significantly the intensity of load shedding. Of course, we had a period of eight days with no load shedding, then we hit a snag where 11 units were out as a result of boiler tube leaks. Those units are coming back.

“It’s important that we maintain the reliability of these units so that we are able to restore and maintain the credibility of our efforts and the ability of Eskom to resolve this challenge,” he said.

Ramokgopa said over the next two months, more generating units are expected to return to service – further boosting generation capacity for the grid.

“We are expecting Kusile [Power Station] Unit 2 to come on stream by the third week of November, and Unit 5 by the third week of December.

“But that’s not sufficient. We need additional generation capacity, especially renewable energy sources, because the Eskom fleet alone won’t resolve load shedding and secure energy security. That’s why we are investing a lot of effort and resources to ensure that we find a solution for the financing and rollout of transmission,” he said.

The Minister said financing for the rollout will cost “upward of R390 billon".

“We are at an advanced stage, and taking a proposal to Cabinet to say this is how we think we can be able to tap into the liquidity that exists in the private sector so that we don’t just over-rely on these units that are ageing.

“We need additional generation sources and those principally have to be renewables. But renewables need transmission capacity… renewables also thrive on the existence of baseloads [like] coal, nuclear and hydro, [which] are some of those that are important to the resolution of this problem,” Ramokgopa said. –