Power system remains tight, Eskom warns

2011-06-27 14:36

South Africa’s power supply remains tight, but Eskom can meet peak

demand this winter, its CEO Brian Dames said today.

“The winter is with us, we have met the demand this far and we have

projected peak demand at 37 500 megawatts and we are certainly confident we can

meet the peak,” Dames said at the release of the state-owned power utility’s

yearly results in Joburg.

Demand fluctuated throughout the day and was particularly high

between 5pm and 8pm.

“Demand increases by up to 1 000 megawatts if we can all focus on

those three hours we could make a significant difference,” he said.

“On our own, running all our plants flat-out, we can’t do it alone,

it’s not just an Eskom issue, it’s a South African issue.”

Dames said Eskom had posted a second consecutive year of strong

financial performances.

This was a turnaround from two years ago when the company reported

a R9.7-billion loss.

“With government’s guarantees and explicit support, Eskom has put a

funding plan in place for the next seven years from 1 April 2010,” he


It had secured about 70% of the R300 billion it needed for its new

build programme.

Eskom provides about 95% of South Africa’s electricity and more

than 40% of Africa’s power.

It has imposed a moratorium on the payment of dividends since 2008

because of its capacity expansion programme.

Finance director Paul O’Flaherty said Eskom’s 29% revenue increase

to R91.4 billion for the financial year ending March this year, was driven

primarily by the 24.8% tariff increase imposed last year, when the group’s

revenue was R71.1 billion.

The group’s net profit had increased to R8.4 billion from R3.6


“This entire surplus is being reinvested in the electricity

infrastructure South Africa needs to support its growth and development and to

help drive investment and job creation,” said Public Enterprises Minister Malusi


As at March 31, Eskom had a net maximum capacity of 41 194


It has committed to building another 17.1 gigawatts of new

generation capacity by 2018. Of this, 5.2 gigawatts had been commissioned by

March 31.


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