[Well, people say I’m negative all the time. Let me say today that the Blacks are about to set a new record. Take a look at the chart below. Those are the statistics of the number of days in the year that they’ve had rolling blackouts (load shedding). 2020 was a new record … but 2021 beat that record … however, look at 2022! It’s looking like we’re heading for an all time new high of power outages! The White man who is the COO of Eskom is admitting that the “electricity generating fleet” is BECOMING MORE UNSTABLE AND IT’S BECOMING HARDER TO PREDICT WHEN THINGS WILL COLLAPSE. I want to warn you that when things get very bad, even the management won’t be able to predict things any more. Things will just fail by themselves. We could find ourselves one day with an enormous problem that arrives WITHOUT WARNING! Jan]
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has dismissed calls to declare a state of disaster for Eskom, saying that the power utility has plans in place to protect South Africa’s grid from total collapse.
“There should therefore be a distinction made between a state of disaster just for dramatic effect as compared to a power system emergency,” Gordhan said during a parliamentary session to respond to questions.
Gordhan said that declaring a power system emergency is Eskom’s domain and based on criteria determined by the Systems Operator.
“There are internal plans to manage the power system that will allow the Systems Operator to implement up to Stage 8 load-shedding in order to protect the grid from total collapse.”
The minister also took the opportunity to point out that Eskom has successfully prevented grid collapse, whereas power utilities in California and Texas had failed.
“Eskom manages the stability of the grid with load-shedding as a key mechanism against grid collapse,” Gordhan said.
“At this stage, there is absolutely no requirement for Eskom or government to declare an emergency.”
Eskom announced a week of Stage 2 rotational power cuts on Tuesday, 3 May.
If all goes according to plan, load-shedding should be lifted on Monday, 9 May.
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said it was impossible to give an accurate load-shedding outlook for winter as the forecast could change quickly due to the system’s unreliability.
Of some concern is that the energy availability factor for Eskom’s generating fleet has got progressively worse.
Eskom is also on track to exceed last year’s load-shedding figures by the beginning of May — and 2021 was the worst year on record for rotational power cuts.
Responding to further questions, Gordhan said that Eskom needs additional generating capacity of between 4000 MW and 6000 MW to solve its maintenance problems.
He said bringing this additional energy online is government’s priority.
“It’s also a well-established fact — it’s also in the report of the Zondo Commission — that there has been neglect on the maintenance side for many years, particularly during the state capture period,” he said.
“That is the legacy we must now overcome.”
Gordhan said there is “no doubt” a possibility to “trim” staff members at the power utility.
However, he said government has a social responsibility — not to appease the unions but to look after workers, their families, and the well-being of communities.
“Far more important than putting [excess Eskom staff] out on the streets — when we have the high level of unemployment that we do — is to attempt to retrain them,” Gordhan said.
Government hopes to re-skill staff to work on new developments such as renewable energy investments in South Africa.