Gordhan said the cost of diesel would be lower if the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s granted the licence to Eskom.

Image credit: Eskom

Image credit: Eskom

Babalo Ndenze | 11 January 2023 14:13

CAPE TOWN – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says Eskom needs more money to buy additional diesel to help minimise the risk of load shedding.

Gordhan also said the “refusal” of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to grant a wholesaler licence to Eskom increased the cost of diesel.

The cost could be lower if such a licence was granted, he said.

READ: DA wants Eskom declared a state of disaster

Gordhan responded in a written reply to questions by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on the availability and cost of diesel.

Gordhan responded to several questions from the EFF on the need for diesel, and what impact the continued unavailability of diesel would have on the ongoing electricity blackouts.

Gordhan said the power utility had diesel to run its open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs).

However, due to a lack of cash on hand, the limited diesel stocks were being conserved for emergency use.

In a separate reply, Gordhan said apart from conserving the available diesel for emergencies, Eskom appealed to government for support to fund additional diesel, as tariffs were not cost-reflective.

READ: Public enterprises, National Treasury and Eskom digging deep for diesel money

He said several municipalities collectively owed Eskom approximately R59 billion, and that these “constraints” limited the liquidity available to purchase diesel.

Gordhan said in November last year that Eskom had spent R14.7 billion on diesel for the OCGTs.