Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has warned the media to stop using load shedding to justify their political views.
Speaking at a briefing at the Lethabo power station in the Vaal alongside Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza and Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe, Gordhan tabled the country’s energy status, claiming that government had now gotten a better understanding of the challenges plaguing the power utility.
He said: “Having committed to report back to South Africa in 10-14 days, we want to offer a better understanding of key challenges and solutions. Our objective now is still to reliably supply electricity to businesses and homes. We have as an aim that we should have no load shedding moving forward.
“Our objective is to be transparent and frank with South Africans and ensure energy security. We now have a better understanding of the root-causes of breakdowns at Eskom power plants, and we are developing a reliable plan and urgent execution to deal with these.”
He appealed to the country to reduce the amount of electricity being used in households, adding that there was a winter plan which would hold for the next nine months, taking the country through to December.
“We have a plan and will make sure it is implemented effectively.”
Gordhan said Eskom would only, if necessary, implement stage 1 load shedding until the end of the year: “The aim moving forward is to stick to no load shedding and if there is, then keep it at stage 1.”
Eskom’s objective is to improve the energy currently available, to stop load shedding altogether, execute proper maintenance, to save power wherever possible, and to upgrade effective regular communication to the public, Gordhan said.
Eskom will continue to execute their nine-point plan in avoiding a crisis. The Eskom board has approved a bailout of R45 million on maintenance. At least R4.5 billion has been set aside to resuscitate the Medupe and Kusile power plants.
Gordhan said they were confident they would be able to keep load shedding at a maximum of stage one.
Source: The Citizen