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Find everything you need to know about Gordhan's Eskom briefing - and what happens next - here

Mar 19 2019 18:09

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan held a briefing on Eskom in Johannesburg this morning. Gordhan was briefing the media on Tuesday, along with senior Eskom officials as the country entered its fifth consecutive day of Stage 2 to Stage 4 load shedding.

From how much Eskom plans to spend on maintenance over the next five years to the root cause of the power crisis, catch up on everything you missed here:

Gordhan opened the media briefing with frank comments about the country's crippling power crisis, adding that there was "no magic formula to solve the crisis". He was also unable to say when the rotational blackouts would be over, but promised to report back again within 10 to 14 days' time. He later also said that former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe had a lot to answer for.


Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza went on to say that the operational side of Eskom required "crisis reaction" as well as time and speed to fix the current load shedding situation. Mabuza said 7 generating units were currently out of the system due to boiler tube leaks. He also added that the country was "very far" from a total blackout.

Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe said that Eskom had set aside R50bn over the next five years for maintenance as ageing infrastructure was unable to keep up with electricity demand. Hadebe said Eskom had previously used its maintenance spend on generation alone but would now also focus on transmission and distribution networks.

Eskom's Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer said Eskom only had itself to blame for the lapse of a contract for early detection of maintenance failures. Oberholzer said the contract for early detection of faults in the wide network of tubing inside boilers lapsed 18 months ago and had not yet been renewed. They are hoping to have a new tender in place by the end of the week.

But that's not all. Behind the scenes, Eskom and government officials told Fin24 that they were planning for Stage 5 and Stage 6 load shedding.

Meanwhile the rand came under pressure on the back of load shedding. TreasuryONE's Andre Botha said load shedding would start to weigh more heavily on the rand the longer it continued. It was also likely to irk ratings agencies, he said. Bianca Botes from Peregrine Treasury Solutions said the rand was struggling to gain ground against major currencies as a result of load shedding.

This as Stage 4 load shedding was set to continue for the rest of Tuesday.

To find your load shedding schedule, click here.



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