Eskom repairs will take 18 months so brace for power cuts — Eskom CEO

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter speaks during a media briefing in Johannesburg on January 31 2020.
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter speaks during a media briefing in Johannesburg on January 31 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

Eskom expects that the maintenance programme to fix its generation infrastructure will carry on for about 18 months.

But the power utility is, for now, unable to indicate how much load-shedding can be expected during this time.

CEO Andre de Ruyter said on Friday that South Africans should expect increased load-shedding while Eskom worked to resolve the country's energy crisis.

He was giving an update on Eskom's operational performance.

“We now need to very carefully understand what the resources are that we require — human, capital as well as from a contracting perspective.”

Eskom also needed to understand what demand-side measures were available to create additional headroom for it to implement the maintenance programme.

The power utility, he said, would then be able to, with a much better degree of certainty, indicate exactly what sort of disruption could be expected.

“At this stage, it is premature for us to give a signal on where we are going to go with load-shedding,” he said.

De Ruyter said Eskom would find the money from internal savings to implement its extensive maintenance programme and did not intend to approach the government for additional funding for that.

“We are going to reprioritise, reallocate and we are going to save. We have already started with that programme,” he said.

He did not provide much detail on plans to buy electricity from entities with an excess supply that could be made available to Eskom.

“Obviously where we seek to buy in electricity, we need to ensure that the cost of the electricity that we buy does not exceed the cost of our own generation. There is a balancing act in these commercial negotiations that need to take place,” he said.


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.