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By Editorial staff


Load shedding has become an irritating way of life, but there’s glimmer of hope

Of course, there’s always a catch.

It’s extremely rare to find uplifting news when it comes to our power crisis.

People have become immune to excuse after excuse of yet another “emergency” or “breakdown” from Eskom.

Loathed, load shedding has become an irritating way of life.

In spite of promises from several ANC politicians that load shedding could become a thing of the past by the end of the year, the public are not holding their breath.

ALSO READ: ‘Komati is Eskom’s future’ but residents demand accountability

Our government’s empty pledges have burned us far too often, and there’s a feeling that we are on our own, having to dig deep into our own pockets to come up with mechanisms to keep the lights on.

But Eskom’s Lethabo is providing some hope.

The power station in the Free State is operating so efficiently, Seriti’s New Vaal coal mine next door cannot keep up with its coal demand.

Of course, there’s always a catch.

Due to the high demand of coal, additional coal from mines around Ogies and Delmas in Mpumalanga is being sourced by Eskom to replenish the stockpile.

This means residents of the Vaal Triangle will have to share the roads with 300 to 500 trucks per day for at least three months.

But that the station is operating at full capacity is good news.

According to Moneyweb, Lethabo outperforms the rest of Eskom’s fleet with an energy availability factor that frequently moves above 90%.

The utility’s latest numbers show that the whole fleet’s availability is a mere 57.61%.

While this is far below the norm of 80%, it is better than the average so far for 2023 of 54.29%.

READ MORE: Grid storage is the missing link in SA’s electricity crisis

Power station manager Karabo Rakgolela, having worked at Eskom for 30 years, talks a good game.

He says: “Old age is no excuse for poor plant performance. Do maintenance, keep within the design envelope, ensure you have quality operators and feed it with what it needs.”

We need more people like Rakgolela and his dedicated team of workers if we have any chance of ending the power crisis.

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