SA will escape power crisis when Medupi, Kusile come on-line: David Mabuza

SOUTH Africa’s electricity supply deficit woes would soon be ameliorated, said BusinessLive citing the views of the country’s deputy president, David Mabuza.

Responding to questions in the National Council of Provinces, Mabuza said: “South Africans must be confident that we are going to get out of this problem.

“Why am I saying so? There is a new build programme [and it will bring in] additional capacity … from Medupi and Kusile,” he said.

Power utility Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations, which have a nameplate capacity generation of about 9,600MW, have repeatedly failed owing to design faults. A portion of Eskom’s existing fleet is old and vulnerable to breakdowns and failures.

Eskom executives recently that the load-shedding currently affecting the country due to depleted generating capacity and maintenance issues would be with us for a while longer.

Said Mabuza: “Our fleet, our power stations, are very old. The maintenance of such power stations presents a problem [as] they fail from time to time.

“Some units will fail and the leadership of Eskom has said ‘Yes, we are not going to avoid load-shedding as we implement routine maintenance and as we deal with the disruptions of failure of certain units in the system’.”

The power outages, which could single-handedly cripple the economy, are likely to be a feature at least until 2022, Eskom said in a presentation to parliament this week, according to BusinessLive.

Ratings agencies have cited state-owned enterprises, including Eskom and SAA, which carry debts of close to R700bn between them, as among the major risks to the sustainability of the nation’s finances.

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