President Cyril Ramaphosa says the government is finalising a “comprehensive set of actions” aimed at ending load shedding in South Africa.
Eskom has implemented stage 6 and stage 4 load shedding for over two weeks as the country endures is worst electricity crisis since 2019.
‘No business as usual’
Writing in his weekly newsletter on Monday (11 July), Ramaphosa said over the past two weeks, the Presidency “has been working with the relevant Ministers and senior officials on a range of additional measures to accelerate all efforts to increase our electricity supply.”
“The message is clear: this is no time for business as usual. We need to act boldly to make load shedding a thing of the past,” the President added.
“While the measures we have already taken will secure the supply of reliable and affordable electricity into the future, we have been looking at what additional measures we can take now to bring that goal closer.
“We will soon be completing the detailed work and consultations needed to finalise these further measures. We will then, in the coming days, be able to announce a comprehensive set of actions to achieve much faster progress in tackling load shedding.”
Stage 4 load shedding to persist
Meanwhile, Eskom will implement stage 4 load shedding from 05h00 until 00h00 daily until Thursday, the state-owned utility’s CEO André de Ruyter said at a media briefing on Monday.
The utility will implement stage 2 between 00h00 and 05h00 throughout the week. Depending on more generating units returning to service, stage 3 will be implemented during the day on Friday and stage 2 throughout the weekend.
“This is of course not the news you want to hear. You want to see an end to load shedding far sooner. Unfortunately, due to the unlawful strike, we have suffered a significant backlog in maintenance. We’ve also had to operate the plants under conditions which are less than ideal and therefore, we’ll take a number of weeks to fully recover from the strike,” de Ruyter said.
He however added that Eskom returned several units to service on Sunday, with a further 12 units expected to return by Thursday. Notably, Koeberg unit 2 will return to service at the end of July, boosting capacity by 920MW.
There will also be substantial addition of new capacity over the next 18 to 24 months as Eskom implements its land lease programme and the government unrolls bid windows 5 and 6 of the independent power producer projects.
“The outlook of load shedding is that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but we do appeal to South Africans to continue to conserve electricity,” de Ruyter concluded.