Load shedding: SA to know more about state of SA's electricity supply tomorrow

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and chairman of the Eskom board Jabu Mabuza is expected to brief the media on the state of SA's electricity supply tomorrow.

The briefing is expected to be at a power station in Johannesburg.

This follows a previous joint briefing about two weeks ago, where Gordhan said at the time that they would know more about the problems facing Eskom following a technical review of the power plants which would take between 10 to 14 days.

At the time, the country was in the midst of rolling black outs. The power shortage was so severe that Eskom implemented several days of Stage 4 load shedding as well as Stage 2 during the night.

The embattled power utility said then that the power supply had been further compromised by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. Eskom had previously said load shedding was as a result of aging power plants, poor workmanship on coal plants and insufficient maintenance.

During the previous media briefing, Gordhan could also not say when load shedding would come to an end.

Eskom, however, announced on March 24 that no load shedding would be implemented. This is the second week that SA has been spared power cuts.

Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza went on to say that the operational side of Eskom required "crisis reaction" as well as time and speed to fix the current load shedding situation. Mabuza said 7 generating units were currently out of the system due to boiler tube leaks. He also added that the country was "very far" from a total blackout.

Eskom's Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer said Eskom only had itself to blame for the lapse of a contract for early detection of maintenance failures. But that's not all. Behind the scenes, Eskom and government officials told Fin24 that they were preparing for Stage 5 and Stage 6 load shedding.

Meanwhile Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe has since said the power utility has identified some 30 companies which must pay it back for poor workmanship on power plants.

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