South Africans want urgent solution to country’s energy crisis: Expert

Energy expert Chris Yelland says South Africans want an urgent solution to the country’s energy crisis, as they anxiously wait for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Eskom.

Rolling blackouts have increased as the condition of Eskom’s generation fleet steadily worsens. The impact of rolling blackouts on the economy has been devastating.

Eskom is currently implementing stage 3 rolling blackouts, which will be raised to stage 4 from 4 p.m. till midnight when the rolling power outages will be dropped to stage 2. This is expected to continue on Thursday.

Yelland says it is not clear what Ramaphosa’s announcement will contain.

“We are expecting something, what it is exactly we don’t know but there is a growing call even from the National Planning Commission and other well-respected stakeholders that government should recognise the electricity problem as an emergency and deal with it as such. So, we are interested to hear President Ramaphosa’s long-awaited response to this emergency and how he sees it can be dealt with.”

Recent strike action

Briefing the media earlier this week, Eskom Chief Executive Officer, Andre de Ruyter, said it will take several weeks for the power utility to fully recover from the recent strike action.

Eskom has been implementing power cuts due to losses in generation capacity following the recent impact of labour unrest and maintenance backlogs.

“This is not the news you want to hear, you want to have an end to load shedding sooner. Unfortunately, due to the unlawful strike, we have suffered significant backlogs in maintenance and we had to operate the plants under conditions that are less than ideal. We, therefore, will take a number of weeks to fully recover from the strike. I can give you the assurance that our colleagues are working extraordinarily hard to recover from the effects of the strike.”
Eskom briefing on challenges it is facing:

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