Gordhan, Mabuza to brief media on electricity supply problems

SABC NEWS Pravin Gordhan - Gordhan, Mabuza to brief media on electricity supply problems

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza will brief the media on the current electricity supply problems that the country is currently experiencing on Tuesday morning.

The briefing will take place in Rosebank, north of Johannesburg.

Eskom says it will continue to implement stage 4 loadshedding, as large parts of the country is currently experiencing stage 2 until 9 o’clock this morning. From 9 am until 11pm stage 4 loadshedding will start.

The power utility has capacity shortages. It has suffered repeated faults at its coal-fired power stations, along with low water levels at hydro-electric plants and diesel shortages.

Acting head of generation at the power utility, Andrew Eitzinger says, “Today we will be implementing stage 4 loadshedding once again this is due to a large shortage of generation plants on Eskom’s side as well as the lines from Mozambique still down. From tomorrow we will be seeing a slight improvement in the situation but we unfortunately still will be at stage four loadshedding but from Thursday the situation will ease.”

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the loadshedding was very worrying and authorities were working around the clock to keep the lights on.

The situation worsened on Saturday after Eskom lost its electricity imports from the Cahora Bassa hydro-electric system in Mozambique, after Cyclone Idai struck that country.

Meanwhile, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Geoff Jacobs, has warned that if nothing is done to urgently resolve the current electricity crisis, the situation will deepen.

Jacobs says it is forcing businesses and municipalities to look for other sources of electricity supply. He says the situation will also hurt struggling municipalities which rely on income from electricity to subsidise their costs and keep rate-paying commercial and industrial firms going.

“The present crisis is hurting business, municipalities and Eskom. Businesses need electricity to survive. Eskom desperately need more power to keep going but instead finds itself and its revenue going down while it costs increase it has to use diesel which is expensive to keep its emergency gas turbines going.”

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