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South Africans will have to put up with load shedding until 2017

by , 07 August 2015

As 2015 continues, South Africans have had to contend with more than their fair share of load shedding.

Whilst Eskom battles to get on top of its maintenance programme and bring new power plants online, power cuts have become an unsavoury normality.

And it's not going to end anytime soon.

Let's take a closer look…

South Africans will have to contend with load shedding for another 18 months

Yesterday, Lynne Brown, the minister for public enterprises, announced that Eskom will continue load shedding “for the next 18 months,” reports IOL. This as the power utility struggles to provide enough electricity to keep the lights on in SA.

Ms Brown said she’s worried about “Eskom’s financial sustainability and the reliability of its ageing power plants,” adds IOL.

Yet she said the push to get on top of maintenance has helped to increase “plant capacity from 65% to 75%,” says Fin24. Ms Brown says she hopes this will rise to “at least 80%”.

Eskom’s power provisions fall well short of best practice

Yet in spite of these claims by the minister, the figures don’t seem to support this, reports Carol Paton in BDLive. And the goal of increasing plant capacity to 80% falls well short of “best practice worldwide”. This dictates that there should be “an availability of 90% with 5% under planned maintenance and 5% as a reserve margin”.

Ms Brown, who was attending Eskom’s Annual General Meeting, said net profit fell to R3.6 billion from R7.1 billion, adds Fin24. She said “management must take decisive steps to stop this decline”.

As the South African economy continues to struggle to grow, load shedding is having a negative impact on productivity. As many listed companies are in the midst of reporting results, several have cited load shedding as having a negative impact on their performance.

It will be 2017 before the power situation in Africa’s most developed economy will start to show signs of improvement.

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South Africans will have to put up with load shedding until 2017
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