Question NW1497 to the Minister of Public Enterprises

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20 May 2022 - NW1497

Profile picture: Herron, Mr BN

Herron, Mr BN to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises

In light of the fact that despite the commitments by the Government and Eskom to fix the electricity supply and the fact that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research statistics show that loadshedding and/or power outages in the Republic have steadily worsened over the past 14 years; what are the (a) reasons that the stability of the Republic's electricity supply worsened instead of improving over the past 14 years and (b) details of Eskom’s plan for reversing the trend of increasing hours and energy outages?


According to the information received from Eskom

a) Eskom’s Generation fleet is unreliable and unpredictable because its plants have been run for over 10 years at exceptionally high utilisation factors, with less than adequate maintenance. there has been insufficient investment in maintenance as a result of inadequate ENERGY capacity and years of tariffs that were not reflective of prudent and efficient costs. Together with inadequate capacity on the system, this unreliability and unpredictability has led to load shedding and this also means that the risk of load shedding remains if there are more breakdowns than predicted in the base planning scenarios.

b) A reduction in the risk of load shedding depends on two factors. Firstly, an additional 6 000MW is required to be commissioned. This is being driven by the DMRE. Secondly, Eskom needs to improve the reliability and predictability of the coal fleet. This requires adequate financial resources and “space” on the system to execute the required additional reliability maintenance. To achieve this, Eskom is driving the Generation Turnaround Programme that includes focussing on the Seven Strategic Initiatives that include the 2035 Strategy, the 9-Point Plan and the Reliability Maintenance Recovery Programme.

In addition, special programs to deploy experienced personnel to assist power station managers, and a mentoring and training program is also being put in place to improve operational efficiency.

the negative impact of criminality, corruption, sabotage and fraud must also be taken into account. urgent law enforcement measures must be put in place to combat this.

please be assured that the management is very aware that agility, accountability and responsiveness is critical to the more efficient operation of plant.

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