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'It's entirely Eskom's fault, and we take responsibility and apologise'

CapeTalk logo CapeTalk 2019-02-11 Barbara Friedman
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The country has not had loadshedding since 9 December 2018 - that's 63 days. But it appears to be back...

Kieno Kammies speaks to senior general manager for demand management at Eskom Andrew Etzinger.

Etzinger says Eskom has spent over R400 billion on building new power stations but says these new builds are 'not coming to the party.'

"Those power stations, unfortunately, are not delivering reliable, consistent output at the moment which is a huge frustration to us."

Eskom as its top engineers working along with the suppliers, designers, and contractors, on those plants, he adds.

He cites state capture as the second reason for the power supply problems.

"Certainly, over the last couple of years, there has been a diversion of attention and resources away from the technical aspects of the generation plant to other things which has severely compromised us at both the technical level and the coal availability level."

He says Eskom has been 'hard at work' since November to sort out these problems.

"But last week, we had a bad week, with technical faults at a number of our power stations occurring simultaneously, which position a position where we were in a deficit and we needed to, unfortunately, implement loadshedding. From our side, it's entirely Eskom's fault and we take responsibility and we apologise."

Etzinger says this week things look tough and loadshedding is likely to continue.

"I'm not optimistic. I've seen this before."

He says Stage 2 loadshedding will be implemented from 9am on Monday morning and will continue into the evening.

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