Even though internationally power utilities plan to exceed demand by 15% and in South Africa, the Government is by law the only legal supplier of electricity, and plans to even meet 95% of demand fails regularly, the CEO of the Government company, ESKOM, said that there is no crisis at ESKOM.
“I don’t think there’s a crisis at Eskom. I think sometimes the reporting on the company creates the perception of a crisis,” its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tshediso Matona said at a media briefing on the state of the power system.
Matona acknowledged that the company faces “challenges galore” with regards to outages as well as finances at the company. However, Eskom is also in process of engaging its shareholder – the Department of Public Enterprises.
“I guess the moment we are unable to provide electricity … [is when] I will say there is a crisis. Right now we’re going through a very constrained, difficult, painful period but there’s no crisis,” said Matona.
Matona said Eskom management is seized with the immediate issue of bringing stability to the company.
Meanwhile, the utility said it does not anticipate implementing stage three schedule of load shedding.
Stage one of load shedding allows for up to 1 000 MW to be shed off the grid, while stage two allows for up to 2 000 MW to be shed. Stage three of load shedding allows for up to 4 000 MW to be shed.
The CEO said it was painful to load shed. “We know the public is not pleased,” he said.
Matona said if the utility were to have a blackout of the power system, this would be disastrous for the country, as it would take weeks to recover from a blackout.
Last month, South Africans were plunged into darkness after one of the silos at the power station cracked and later collapsed on 1 November, leaving South Africans without electricity.
On Monday, the parastatal said that work at the power station was continuing so as to bring the Mpumalanga-based power station to full capacity.