Eskom keeps lights on 90% of the time – Brian Molefe

2015-04-22 16:31

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South Africans should not “beat up” Eskom for load shedding because it was producing power for 90% of the time, acting chief executive Brian Molefe told members of Parliament this morning.

At a special joint meeting of the public enterprises and energy portfolio committees of the national assembly at Parliament to scrutinise the ongoing load shedding, Molefe faced MPs for the first time since his appointment last Friday.

“Let us not beat up Eskom ... as if we don’t have [power] for 90% of the time.”

Explaining that there was roughly a 3000MW gap between demand and output caused by maintenance and other outage issues, he said stage one load shedding for the typical family was only two to four hours a week.

“That is 164 hours [of power] of the 168 hours in a week ... It is just that at this point in time we have to catch up with maintenance,” said Molefe.

Gordon MacKay, a Democratic Alliance MP, said he was “a little surprised” at the “idyllic picture” painted by Molefe about the state of Eskom.

He said that the 4% to 10% load shedding was costing the economy “1.5% of GDP per annum ... that is the real cost of what we are talking about”.

This placed South African in the position where it could not address any of its social challenges.

He said the 3000MW gap could be filled by new plants within months, but Eskom and Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown were warning of load shedding for another two years.

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