Record load shedding eases, Gordhan says | Fin24


Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan Photo: Tebogo Letsie

According to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, power cuts should ease in the coming days and the country’s electricity supply will continue to improve in the medium term as new investments bolster generation.

“We will suffer from load shedding in South Africa for a while,” Gordhan said in an interview on Bloomberg TV on Thursday. But “not of the order we’ve seen in the recent past,” he said.

Eskom, which provides more than 90% of the country’s power supply, cut 6,000 megawatts of power from the national grid this weekend, leaving businesses and homes without electricity for more than four hours at a time. The energy shortages date back to 2008, but the problem has become increasingly acute. Power outages hit a record this year as more than half of the utility’s capacity was sometimes taken offline due to outages and maintenance work.

ALSO READ  Famine 'at the door' in Somalia, UN humanitarian chief says

South Africa should have built additional capacity nearly two decades ago and now needs “huge investments” in energy infrastructure, said Gordhan, who oversees Eskom. He expects a government initiative to buy more power from private renewable energy producers to stabilize energy supplies in the longer term, and said there remains a “huge investment need” despite delays in the program.

Other initiatives have been taken to improve Eskom’s performance, including rehiring experienced staff who worked there and increasing the maintenance budget. The utility had numerous CEOs until Andre de Ruyter took over the position in January 2020.

ALSO READ  Patients paid the price when Gauteng Hospital ran out of ostomy bags | TBEN

Eskom’s management has “did their best,” Gordhan said. “I think we need to constantly assess whether the governance and management capabilities are in order to help us cope with the current crisis.”

Eskom implements rolling blackouts when it fails to meet demand to prevent the power grid from completely collapsing, potentially resulting in a prolonged outage. Gordhan said there was “no risk” that that would happen.

ALSO READ  Blitzboks get creative to combat awkward kickoff times at Sevens World Cup | Sport

We live in a world where facts and fiction fade

In times of uncertainty, you need journalism you can rely on. For 14 free days, you’ll have access to a world of in-depth analysis, investigative journalism, top-notch advice, and a host of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. After that you will be charged R75 per month. You can cancel at any time and if you cancel within 14 days you will not be charged.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here