Cape Town – Eskom board chairperson Mpho Makwana says it will take “18 months to 2 years to fix” load shedding, adding that there is no shortcut to ending the problem.
Makwana said this during an interview with Newzroom Afrika on Friday.
When asked how bad load shedding is going to get this winter, he said:
“We can’t give you a ‘how bad’ answer today, for the simple reason that the week-to-week forecast of load shedding is shifting as we improve, [for example] where there [are] parts replacements, where there [are] the different maintenance schedules that are ensuring that other units are coming back on-stream.”
“It’s going to be a tough winter for sure, given that we’ve said to South Africans already, and I’m going to repeat that, we are going to take 18 months to two years to fix load shedding. It’s very clear, there is no shortcut.
Eskom board chairperson Mpho Makwana tells @XoliMngambi that there is no shortcut to ending #loadshedding. He says it will take them 18 months to 2 years to fix it.
Watch: https://t.co/VmPEJYX37w#Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/Q8uT28jhCn
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 10, 2023
“As of 31st March, we are looking at edging closer to, as fast as possible, a 60% energy availability factor,” he said.
“As of 31st March 2024, our forecast is 65% energy availability, and as of 31 March 2025, we will get to 70%.
“So, it is a process that requires two things to happen. It requires that as we do our best to fix the plant; we also do our best in the broader South Africa to add more megawatts onto our grid.
“What can we do, firstly, all of us … we need to start putting energy-efficient lighting in all our places. We have seen that in 2010/11 when we did the FIFA World Cup, we saved the equivalent of two levels of load shedding through demand-side management.”
Makwana’s remarks came shortly after the newly appointed Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said it would be “irresponsible” to give an exact date regarding when loadshedding would end.
In an interview with SABC News, Ramokgopa said that predicting when load shedding would come to a complete end would be “shooting from the hip”.
“Load shedding, and I want to emphasise [this] on national TV we are going to resolve it… [but] it is highly irresponsible to just shoot from the hip and say this date, that date,” Ramokgopa said.
“We are going to be ambitious, [but] we are going to be realistic. Some of the things I will be saying to the general public will be unpalatable. I am sure everyone listening to you wants me to say ‘on X date load shedding will be done’. I am saying give me an opportunity … we will come back to you,” he said.
Follow African Insider on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
For more African news, visit Africaninsider.com
Compiled by Betha Madhomu