We should celebrate stage 2 and stage 3 load-shedding – Eskom chairman

Daily Investor • 15 Mar 2023

Eskom chairman Mpho Makwana said South Africans should celebrate stage 2 and stage 3 load-shedding instead of only lamenting stage 7 and stage 8 power cuts.

Makwana made these comments during an interview with Newzroom Africa’s Xoli Mngambi about South Africa’s load-shedding outlook.

The Eskom chairman said people should prepare for a tough winter regarding load-shedding but would not give estimates on exactly what to expect.

“We cannot give a ‘how bad’ answer today because the week-to-week forecast for load-shedding is shifting as we improve,” he said.

“It will take 18 months to 2 years to fix load-shedding. It is very clear that there is no shortcut.”

The process requires two things to happen – improve the performance of the power plants and add more generation capacity to the grid.

Makwana said they want to get as close as possible to a 60% energy availability factor (EAF) by the end of March 2023, 65% by March 2024, and 70% by March 2025.

When pressed on Eskom’s deteriorating performance of Eskom’s power stations, the Eskom chairman said the country must not be fixated on the negative aspects only.

“In these periods, we must also celebrate the times we have had lower levels of load-shedding,” Makwana said. “There have been many of those when we have been on stage 3 and stage 2.”

“We must not just lament stage 8 and stage 7 load-shedding. There have been consequent days where we had stage 3 and stage 2.”

“If we want this thing to change, celebrate those things that Thomas Conradie are fixing. Then we encourage them to do more.”