Watch live: Electricity minister’s loadshedding update
Dr Ramokgopa’s address was scheduled for 09:00 on Thursday, 11 May 2023. Watch the address live right here:
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Dr Ramokgopa’s Thursday address comes six days after he briefed the media on the National Energy Action Plan and the gains made by the National Energy Crisis Committee.
He said with demand expected to increase to between 32 000MW to 37 000MW, “the next 150 days will be very difficult” and interventions are already underway.
“The first one is that the work on improving the Energy Availability Factor [EAF] … is continuous and we have been confident that we are going to begin to see these improvements. [Eskom] will continue to ensure that we undertake substantial maintenance and we did that during the summer period and we have seen – temporarily – some improvement in six power stations.
“The second one is maximising the use of the Open Cycle Gas Turbines [OCGTs]. We are doing everything possible. I was at Ankerlig [power station] meeting with the team…to ensure that there is technical preparedness to help us to ensure that we are able to fully exploit the OCGTs.
“The third area in relation to immediate intervention is to scale up our work on demand side management. We know that there is significant potential there especially at the household level. Eskom ran a very successful campaign in 2010 and they were able to save about 3000MW. We think that that’s still possible now with the maturity of technology, we will be able to roll out rapidly,” he said.
Elsewhere, Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, says the department will be appealing the judgement handed down by the North Gauteng High Court last Friday.
The judgement ordered that hospitals, schools and police stations be exempted from loadshedding and also gave the Public Enterprises Minister 60 days to ensure that those public facilities have sufficient electricity supply.
Gordhan said the judgement raises serious concerns about Eskom’s efforts to ensure stability of the national grid in the context of the current power constraints.
The country has been on Stage 6 load shedding since Sunday following the delay in return to service of several generation units and breakdowns at power stations.
“The department has studied the ruling and has determined through legal advice that the prudent step to take is to lodge an appeal to set aside the ruling and allow for the ongoing efforts to end load shedding to proceed without putting undue risk on the country’s grid infrastructure,” he said.
He emphasised that the judgement could deal a serious blow to the national power grid.
“While the department respects the independence of the courts, in this case the department believes that the judgment would have unintended consequences and undermine the very efforts to balance the protection of the rights that were ventilated in this case, with the need to stabilise and protect our grid infrastructure,” Gordhan said.
NOTE: This article was published with editorial assistance from SA Gov News.
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