Cape Town – Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, has reassured the public that the national power grid is not at risk of collapsing.
Despite mounting concerns over Eskom’s ability to provide a reliable power supply and its warning of increased rolling power cuts during winter to protect the grid, Ramokgopa said that higher levels of load shedding should not be interpreted as a sign of imminent grid failure.
The minister said this during a briefing on the implementation of the energy action plan on Friday.
“I must emphasise that if you see stage five, stage six, it doesn’t mean that you are close to a grid collapse. It simply gives you assurance that the system controller is in charge of the system, and, in fact, it should give you additional confidence.
“Of course, we don’t want load shedding, but I’m just saying it’s an instrument at the disposal of the system controller to make sure that we are able to balance supply and demand,” EWN quoted Ramokgopa as saying.
He said that the primary focus at present is to prevent a nationwide blackout and maintain essential services during higher levels of load shedding.
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He mentioned the government’s appeal to set aside a recent court ruling that exempts public health facilities, schools, and police stations from rolling blackouts.
“Quite apart from the court process, the appeal, some of the work that we are doing now is to work with various provincial governments … We’ve already quantified, at an aggregate level, what is the amount of money that is required to put in place various interventions,” the minister said, according to Mail & Guardian.
Furthermore, Ramokgopa revealed that the Chinese government would soon provide a significant grant to install strategic energy solutions in key installations across the country.
He said that the Chinese government has offered South Africa equipment like solar panels and generators that can be installed at public institutions to prevent power disruptions, News24 reported.
“We will be announcing a major grant that the Chinese government and its people are making available to us …So we do not get into a situation where we fail to provide our promise of uninterrupted, quality supply…
“The Chinese are the first to come back to us and say they will provide this kind of equipment like PVs…,” the report quoted the minister as saying.
Compiled by Betha Madhomu