Load-shedding ‘unlikely’ on Friday

It’s Friday‚ and what better way to start the day than with news that Eskom is unlikely to implement load-shedding.

“Due to further improvement in generation performance and the notable strides made in replenishing water and diesel reserves‚ Eskom is unlikely to implement load-shedding on Friday‚” the power utility said.

“The power system however remains tight and vulnerable and while Eskom is making every effort to limit load-shedding‚ it could be implemented at short notice should there be a shift in plant performance. This could include a significant loss in generating plant due to unplanned technical breakdowns.”

Eskom said it has a plan in place to manage the risk of wet coal.

“The recent heavy rains could also impact coal handling and feeding to the boilers with a potential impact on generation production.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa stuck to his guns on Thursday on the unbundling of Eskom‚ saying “a unitary Eskom has proven to be difficult to lead”.

In his reply to the State of the Nation Address (Sona) debate in parliament on Thursday‚ Ramaphosa hit out at what he said were reckless claims and political posturing around the unbundling of the parastatal. There were “sound‚ valid and compelling reasons to separate Eskom into different entities”‚ he said.

The president insisted that unbundling Eskom was the best option on the table for now‚ and that it was not a path to privatisation.

“Ultimately‚ the restructuring of Eskom is intended to ensure security of electricity supply for the country‚ which is critical to building up the positive investor sentiment and confidence essential for the investment required…”

Eskom is in a deep financial and operational crisis. It is unable to service its R419bn debt from the revenue it earns. It is also straining to keep the lights on after multiple breakdowns of its old plants due to neglect.

President Ramaphosa said finance minister Tito Mboweni would announce measures the government would take to help Eskom stabilise its finances‚ and added that costs had to be cut at the utility.

-Nico Gous

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