No load-shedding until May, says Eskom head

It is likely there will be no load-shedding until at least May 2016, Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe said on Wednesday.

While maintenance on Eskom’s ageing fleet has been increased, the power utility has managed to stave off implementing load-shedding for more than 80 days.

“We are doing all that maintenance without load-shedding,” Molefe said. “We will step up our maintenance in December as everyone goes on holiday. We will add quite a lot of units to the maintenance programme to catch up on backlog.

“We do not anticipate load-shedding until at least the 30th of April,” he said, adding that Eskom was working on overcoming the maintenance backlog ahead of the winter season. “We know when those problems will occur, so we know when to put plans in place.”

Molefe told Parliament that Eskom was celebrating 50 days of no load-shedding and 87 days where only two and a half hours of load-shedding took place.

“After July, load reductions and load-shedding has been very minimal,” he said.

“Going forward, it won’t be necessary to update [the public on these daily load-shedding stats] as having electricity will become a normal thing,” he said.

While Eskom has been congratulated on alleviating load-shedding, electricity usage has dropped dramatically since the start of 2015. This has raised concerns that Eskom has avoided implementing load-shedding because of this drop in usage.

Trader, investor and stock market researcher Dwaine van Vuuren wrote on the News24 voices blog on Tuesday that an examination of the data from Stats SA gives the real reason for no load-shedding.

“Electricity output has plummeted because demand has plummeted dramatically to 2008 recessionary levels. Not a good sign for the SA economy,” he wrote. – News24.com

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