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Prepare for load shedding for the next three years

The next three years will be difficult for South Africans as load shedding will become inevitable due to worn out power plants.

Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona said the country needs to be prepared for load shedding.

Matona said that load shedding is a painful yet necessary decision to protect the electricity power system from a total blackout.

“A total blackout would have significant consequences on the South African economy,” he said.

Matona admitted that they have arrived at a point which does not allow them to ignore the state of the power plants.

“Eskom’s reserve margin is so thin, that every incident creates a major systems issue and could also have safety implications for the plant,” said Matona.

“The massive usage of diesel helps to bridge the problem somewhat, but can’t help the systemic healing, and a shortage of capacity for the coming three years appears to be unavoidable.

“Some of our running plants have partial load losses because parts have worn out and there is no time to repair.”

Matona said the power system will be severely constrained at the moment and will begin to ease once new generating capacity comes online and other levers materialise.

“The system will remain tight during the summer month. Risks of extreme weather related outages such as wet coal, unplanned outage extensions and unavailability of primary energy may worsen the situation.”

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