Eskom: Suspended Koeberg manager will give evidence in power station probe

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Eskom's Koeberg nuclear power station outside Cape Town. (Jay Caboz)
Eskom's Koeberg nuclear power station outside Cape Town. (Jay Caboz)
  • Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said unit 1 at Koeberg was back online and generating full power.
  • Mantshantsha said the investigation into the state of play at Koeberg would include receiving evidence from suspended station manager Velaphi Ntuli.
  • Mantshantsha said Eskom urges the public to continue using electricity sparingly.

Eskom has credited the return of Koeberg's unit 1 to service for a respite from winter load shedding, despite the power utility earlier warning that rising winter demand would increase the risk of blackouts.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha on Tuesday said the unit – which was taken offline ahead of schedule earlier this year due to the detection of an increasing leak rate at one of its steam generators – was now back online and fully functional.

Eskom has been grappling with various station performance challenges including the suspension of Koeberg's manager, Velaphi Ntuli, earlier in June.

 Eskom announced that Ntuli would be suspended from his position as manager of Koeberg, as his track record at the power station is now under investigation.

The news came as Eskom battled increasing demand in the cold weather, and had to implement stage 4 load shedding earlier in the month.

Mantshantsha told Fin24 on Tuesday that the investigation into affairs at Koeberg would include receiving evidence from Ntuli.

"The suspended power station manager will be given an opportunity to provide evidence in an investigation into the inquiry on his and the performance of the facility in due course," said Mantshantsha.

Mantshantsha stressed that a break from load shedding was no reason for South Africans to be complacent as several factors could change the situation, especially during the winter season.

"As Eskom has been saying for many months now, the likelihood of load shedding remains elevated while the reliability maintenance is ongoing, particularly through the winter period," Mantshantsha said.

Mantshantsha said Eskom urges the public to continue using electricity sparingly.

Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe told Parliament last month that Koeberg would remain a critical part of South Africa's economic future in terms of power provision and energy capacity, adding that this should not alarm people.

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