Mon. Aug 19th, 2019

Eskom: Pravin Gordhan rules out heavy load shedding for winter

Pravin Gordhan Eskom load sheddingWe’ve got our load shedding forecast for the winter, and the news is better from Eskom. Pravin Gordhan broke it down for us on Wednesday.

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Pravin Gordhan told a media briefing in rural Gauteng that the worst of load shedding is already over. March was a crippling month for the power suppliers, who have chalked up numerous rolling blackouts since the start of the new year. However, it seems that there will be no winter of discontent headed our way.

Load shedding forecast for winter 2019

In a more bullish mood than his last media briefing on the energy crisis, Gordhan told reporters that there was good news to speak of. Without hesitation, he revealed that he and his team were confident enough to rule out load shedding up until August, with only Stage 1 cuts forecast in the worst-case scenario:

“We are hopeful that there will be no load-shedding going forward. That’s if our plans are successful. If there is load shedding, we will only see Stage 1 power cuts, maximum.”

Pravin Gordhan

However, when he elaborated further on the situation, he said that there could possibly be “26 days of Stage 1 load shedding” between May and August – if worst comes to worst. This would keep the “unserved energy” under the 10 000MW mark, something Gordhan and his team are keen to avoid.

Eskom officials promise improvement

Eskom Chairperson Jabu Mabuza also made a brief address at the start of the press conference. He stated that the task team in charge of turning the utility’s fortunes around had already implemented their directives. According to Mabuza, supplies and coal-quality are on the up:

“Our coal supply has improved greatly over the past few weeks. We’ve been vigorous in getting the best-quality coal, too. When we last met to discuss Eskom, we had diesel issues. We’ve secured more fuel, and implemented a clear, forward-thinking plan for procurement.”

Jabu Mabuza

Pravin Gordhan bollocks the opposition

The message brought forward by Gordhan and Mabuza is clear: “Eskom is on course to get its house in order”. Whether or not this will hold true over the next few months remains to be seen. Pravin, however, wasn’t too happy with the way the load shedding crisis had been “exploited” by certain political parties.

The DA has been particularly vocal in blaming the ANC for the recent calamities at Eskom, whereas the EFF also made things personal. Minister Gordhan made it clear that he did not want to see the opposition use load shedding for “electioneering” purposes.

“Political parties should not electioneer on load shedding. It needs to be considered a national issue, not a political one. We are working hard to fix things, and making statements to the contrary can be damaging for the public. In an era of fake news, we must only give the public facts.”

Pravin Gordhan

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