Eskom’s improved maintenance has reduced load shedding

Eskom has not implemented loadshedding in the last few days. Picture Henk Kruger/Independent Newspapers

Eskom has not implemented loadshedding in the last few days. Picture Henk Kruger/Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 9, 2024


Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has attributed lack of load shedding to the ramping up of maintenance by Eskom at the end of last year and January this year.

Ramokgopa said the fact there has been no load shedding in almost two weeks was because Eskom had taken 18% of total generation capacity for maintenance and these units were now coming back on stream.

These were measures that Eskom had decided it would implement to ensure energy security supply.

However, the minister said they were working on a number of other initiatives to address load shedding.

“On the plant condition, we made the point that the ramping up of planned maintenance (is) very important,” said Ramokgopa.

“If you look at the period December 2023 going into January of 2024 we took out 18% of the total generation capacity, about 9,000MW at a go for planned maintenance and we are beginning to see that these machines are coming back into service, they are coming back on load and they are adding to the capacity on the grid,” he said.

“This is helping us to address the demand and we are getting to situations more regularly where supply is ahead of demand. During this period more of these machines will come on stream going towards the winter period.”

He added that Eskom has also established a War Room to focus on planned maintenance. Most of the power stations have units that need to be taken tor service.

Another plan was to delay the decommissioning of power stations to ensure energy security supply in the country. These coal-fired power stations will add needed megawatts to the grid.

He said the improvements that the country was witnessing were not accidental. but plans put in place by Eskom.

“The kind of improvement we are seeing is not an accident. Essentially, it’s an investment made by men and women, primarily at Eskom. The leadership at an executive level, the political leadership and the leadership at board level.

“The CEO and his team are delivering the results we are seeing. I have emphasised there will be setbacks. If tomorrow there is load shedding, it does not mean the trendline has dissipated. We are trying to undermine opportunities for these units to fail because as they fail the system operator must initiate loadshedding,” said Ramokgopa.

There has been more generation capacity with three units back on stream. This does include renewable energy projects from the private sector.

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