Categories: EnergyNews
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2024-02-12 2:13 PM

South Africa’s Electricity Crisis: Minister Updates Progress on Load Shedding

  • South Africa's Minister of Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, provides updates on efforts to address intensified load shedding caused by boiler tube leaks at multiple power stations.
  • Collaborative efforts are underway between Eskom and original equipment manufacturers to swiftly return affected units to service, with a focus on safety and long-term reliability.
  • Load shedding has been reduced to stage 5 following successful replenishment of dam levels and restoration of generation units, with further improvements expected by March.
By Miriam Matoma

As South Africa grapples with intensified load shedding, Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, assures citizens that efforts are underway to swiftly address the issues plaguing the power grid. In a recent update, Ramokgopa highlighted the challenges faced by Eskom and outlined measures being taken to mitigate the situation.

The escalation to stage 6 load shedding, followed by a downgrade to stage 5, was primarily attributed to boiler tube leaks at nine units across various power stations. Ramokgopa emphasized that addressing these leaks is a priority, with teams working tirelessly to collaborate directly with the original equipment manufacturers for efficient resolution.

The affected power stations, including Lethabo, Matimba, Duvha, Majuba, Camden, Grootvlei, Kriel, and Medupi, suffered a loss of 4,400 megawatts due to the identified issues. Ramokgopa stressed the importance of thorough root cause analysis to ensure the units are returned to service safely and expeditiously.

While acknowledging the necessity of load shedding for planned maintenance, Ramokgopa assured the public that measures are in place to minimize disruptions and maximize the long-term reliability of the grid. Notably, two units have already been restored, with efforts underway to bring additional units back online.

Looking ahead, Ramokgopa provided a timeline for the return of the remaining units, with significant improvements expected by March. As Eskom replenishes pumped storage dam levels and restores generation units, the intensity of load shedding is anticipated to decrease gradually.

In response to concerns about accountability and transparency, Ramokgopa affirmed that efforts are ongoing to address systemic issues and prevent future failures. The collaboration between the board and executive leadership ensures a holistic approach to resolving the challenges faced by Eskom.

In a separate statement, Eskom announced the reduction of load shedding to stage 5, effective immediately, following successful efforts to replenish dam levels and restore generation units. However, Eskom remains vigilant and will communicate any changes to load shedding as needed.

As South Africa navigates through these challenges, Minister Ramokgopa reassures the nation of the government’s commitment to resolving the electricity crisis and ensuring a reliable power supply for all citizens. Collaborative efforts between stakeholders and ongoing maintenance initiatives are integral to achieving long-term sustainability in the energy sector.

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Miriam Matoma

Miriam is a freelance writer, she covers economics and government news for Rateweb. You can contact her on: Email: Twitter: @MatomaMiriam