Loadshedding expected to ease this week but will be a “disappointing” feature of SA life

POWER rationing in South Africa was set to ease this week, but it was likely to remain a feature of life in the country, said BusinessLive citing the comments of Eskom spokesman, Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

“Load-shedding is a phenomenon that has unfortunately been part of South Africa for 13 years,” said Mantshantsha. “The reality of Eskom is that this will again‚ unfortunately‚ carry on for some time.

“Even though we may shortly get over this current bout of load-shedding within days‚ the reality is that load-shedding will still be an unwelcome and disappointing part of life in South Africa until Eskom has finally repaired the design defects of the Medupi and Kusile power stations,” said Mantshantsha.

“This work will be completed by year-end at Medupi. Early this year these kind of repairs helped increase the capacity of the new Ingula power station,” he said.

Medupi and Kusile are Eskom’s newly commissioned coal-fired power stations with a combined nameplate capacity of 9,600MW. However, in reality the power stations have failed to live up to expectations and have run over schedule and budget.

Earlier, De Ruyter told 702 Talk Radio that‚ provided there was adequate storage of diesel and water to provide an emergency generation buffer: “We could see a reduction in load-shedding [on Wednesday] either to potentially stage 1 or lifting load-shedding entirely”.

De Ruyter was questioned about his undertaking in June to parliament’s committee on public enterprises about there being only three days of stage 1 load-shedding forecast for July. “I don’t think we lied to you,” he said. “We said there was an 80% chance of three days of load-shedding during July‚ and we also said there remains a residual risk given the lack of reliability and predictability of the system.”