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By Editorial staff


Eskom’s light at the end of the tunnel: Illusion or reality?

Amidst optimism, doubts persist over Eskom's turnaround claims.

While the country is basking in the unaccustomed rosy glow of nearly a month without load shedding, we are uneasy that government and the powers that be at Eskom may be keeping us in the dark about the real situation at the national power utility.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa claims Eskom has turned the corner when it comes to power provision but, ominously, he warns at the same time that we are not out of the woods.

The track record of government apparatchiks when it comes to conveying information about Eskom has been dismal.

Who can forget ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula and his promise that load shedding would be a thing of the past by December… 2023?

Energy experts we spoke to today said the electricity minister’s bullish stance was not reflected in the reality, which is that the critical energy availability factor is still well below 60%.

ALSO READ: Eskom’s load shedding escalation: Understanding the new 16-stage system

Also, part of the reason for less load shedding is the fact that alternative energy systems, such as solar, now comprise almost 20% of Eskom’s total theoretical installed capacity.

Not only that, but experts believe the recent punishing increases in electricity charges by the utility have seen many people markedly reducing their power consumption.

Ramokgopa and Eskom’s leaders claim the pause in load shedding has nothing to do with making the ruling party look good ahead of the upcoming elections.

ANC praise singers are claiming the new Eskom hires are doing what ousted CEO André de Ruyter could not.

The proof of the pudding, as the saying goes, will be in the eating… although we may not be able to heat it because of load shedding.

ALSO READ: Expect electricity availability to plummet after elections, warn experts

We will find out in a few weeks, as winter hits and power demand soars, whether the minister and Eskom are telling the truth or selling us more snake oil.