Eskom sets aside R50bn over 5 years for maintenance

Eskom has set aside R50bn over the next five years for maintenance as ageing infrastructure is unable to keep up with electricity demand, according to the power utility’s CEO Phakamani Hadebe.

Hadebe said Eskom had been using its maintenance spend previously on generation alone but will now also focus on transmission and distribution networks.

He said there had been a decline in spend in maintenance in the last few years and the previous administration at Eskom had pushed the power system hard to keep the lights on.

Hadebe said they can no longer do this as there is an increase in the number of generating units that trip. The average age of Eskom’s power fleet is 37 years old.

Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan said there was a clear pattern within “state capture” at state owned enterprises (SOEs) that saw budgets shifted from maintenance to capital intensive projects.

Gordhan added that further information about this will become known in the next few months at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

The country is on the fifth consecutive day of load shedding and Gordhan said he is unable to comment on when the rotational blackouts will be over.

He said further information is needed based on technical investigations of power plants. He promised this will be done within the next 10 to 14 days.

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