/ 4 May 2023

Electricity production falls 5.6% in March, says Stats SA

Eskomsamanthareinders Mg 1506
The electricity that was generated in March this year decreased more than 5% compared to March 2022

Electricity generated in South Africa was down 5.6% in March compared with the corresponding period last year, according to data published by Statistics South Africa on Thursday. 

Electricity generation decreased by 9.7% year-on-year in February.

Electricity consumption decreased by 4.5% year-on-year in March 2023 because of higher levels of load-shedding. 

The statistics agency said seasonally adjusted electricity consumption decreased by 1.3% in the first quarter of 2023 compared with the fourth quarter of 2022.

Eskom still needs to announce its winter plan, but is expected to allocate a portion of its budget to diesel to keep the lights on. The treasury has refused to further fund the embattled power utility, with any additional expenses having to come from Eskom’s budget. 

The utility said this week it was finalising its winter outlook and would brief the media in the “next week or two” about the potential load-shedding frequency during the cold months.

 The Mail & Guardian reported on Wednesday that Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said Eskom’s plan to ease load-shedding over the next six months, starting in May, includes ramping up the use of emergency diesel-powered generators and improving the performance of its worst performing power stations. It also plans to exempt some places, such as hospitals and schools, from load-shedding.

Since Wednesday, load-shedding stages have alternated between levels four, five and six and will continue this way until Saturday. 

Eskom said capacity constraints caused by planned maintenance have been exacerbated by the breakdown of generation units at power stations.