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Eskom CEO: SA's reserve tank almost exhausted

Jan 15 2015 13:05
Fadia Salie, Fin24

Cape Town -  South Africa's power system is so constrained it has almost exhausted its reserve tank, Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona said on Thursday.

Read: As it happened

He compared the power system to a car, saying South Africa has been on a reserve tank and now almost exhausted the reserve space.

"It is like driving a car which has passed its reserve margin, yet the dial continues to move to the point where you could pretty much have a breakdown. We have all but exhausted the reserve space."

Matona was giving his second quarterly update of the state of the system since he took office at Eskom three and a half months ago.

He repeatedly said South Africa is living on the edge.

He said using the metaphor of a car was very helpful in explaining the situation. "The metaphor of the car is helpful as it says if you have a car and you drive it and continue to drive it, it will carry you but at some point it packs up. And this is what is happening with many of the generating units of Eskom."

"Any slight trigger can push us over! We are living on the edge."

Matona said it all boils down to maintenance. "Eskom is a highly technical environment, but we communicate over the heads of the greater public,” he said.

Matona vowed "utmost transparency" at all times. "One fundamental principle that you can be guaranteed we will uphold at all times is utmost transparency and to ensure at all times that the country knows what is happening."

On future load shedding he said the system remains vulnerable. “Any fault in the system pushes us over to load shedding.”

Fin24 tech editor Gareth van Zyl discusses the key points from the briefing:

Full Eskom presentation:

When you can expect load shedding (days in red):

eskom  |  tshediso matona  |  load shedding


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