‘Load-shedding is here until we have 4,000 to 6,000MW of capacity’, says Eskom spokesperson

As Eskom continues to implement load-shedding, the power utility’s spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the blackouts will not be resolved until more capacity is created.

This week Eskom said power outages are expected to continue until the weekend at a reduced stage.

The embattled power utility will implement stage 2 load-shedding from 4pm until midnight on Monday to Thursday and stage 1 over the weekend.

“The stage of load-shedding for the rest of the period is dependent on returning generating units to service and will be confirmed closer to the time,” it said.

Speaking on 702, Mantshantsha said load-shedding will continue until there is 4,000MW to 6,000MW of capacity.

“SA does not have enough capacity to generate sufficient electricity for all of us, and that goes back to 2007,” he said.

“You cannot put a time frame.”

According to Mantshantsha, it will take at least 18 months to generate around 1,800MW of capacity.

He said old power stations that are coming to the end of their useful life add to the battle with load-shedding.

“Each year these power stations are getting older and some must be retired. That gap will keep growing if there is nothing to replace them,” he said.

Earlier this week, mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe was reportedly in talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa about the establishment of a “second Eskom’’.

The additional state-owned utility will work alongside Eskom and apparently focus entirely on generating electricity and building more power stations.

Mantashe told the Sunday Times the country needs “baseload”, an apparent reference to burning coal.

“What we are suggesting — it’s not a decision yet — is let’s have a second generation company of the state and that company must focus on baseload and there must be a build programme for power stations,” he said.

“We can’t allow power stations to only hear decommission. We must also have a build programme and we think if Eskom has no capacity, let’s start a second generation company.”

Eskom said blackouts will not be resolved until more generation capacity is created. File photo.



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