Utility assures SA lights will stay on
ESKOM has assured South Africans they will never ever again experience load- shedding and lights would be on during the cold winter season and beyond.
The power utility was reacting to concerns of residents, particularly, those living in Johannesburg suburbs and surrounding areas, who experienced a series of power outages since last month.
Areas mostly affected were Weltevreden Park, Discovery, Constantia Kloof, Ontdekkers Park, Honeydew, Laser Park, Horizon View, Wilgeheuwel, Strubens Valley, Ruimsig, Helderkruin, Roodekrans and Ramosa.
Most of them complained that City Power, a power utility for the City of Joburg, failed to timeously warn them about the outages, a claim the power utility denies. It was adamant that the power outages, which are likely to continue until the end of June, were happening with the aim of allowing the city to execute maintenance and/or emergency duties to correct defects in the network so that it functioned at “its maximum potential”.
Despite the explanation, these residents were not convinced, and some of them attacked the City of Joburg via social media.
Other parts of Gauteng also experienced power outages and some cases led to accidents on the roads due to dysfunctional traffic lights.
Their anger intensified after reports this week indicated that Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane had insinuated that the country was likely to have a repeat of the devastating effects of the 2008 load-shedding if Eskom was not allowed to buy more coal, an allegation, the parastatal has denied vehemently.
Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe denied the reports. He said Ngubane was misquoted, saying what he meant was that if the power utility was not allowed by national treasury to enter into contracts to buy coal, it could in the future result in the country experiencing loadshedding.
Ngubane made the remarks while appearing before the parliamentary standing committee of public accounts (Scopa) alongside axed chief executive, Brian Molefe.
“The chairperson never said we will have load-shedding this year.
“He was merely raising concerns about the lack of surplus coal in four of our coal-fired
‘Our wish is that
power stations in the country. We have a total of 13 coal-fired power stations.
“Out of the 13, four have adequate coal in it. We need to ensure that they have surplus coal especially during this winter.
“Ngubane was demonstrating how important it was for all power stations to have surplus coal, especially during this period of winter,” Phasiwe said.
He said people should not panic because nine of the coal power stations have adequate and surplus coal saying “our wish is that all coal power stations have enough coal, as well as surplus coal”.
“In addition to the 13 coal stations, we have opened the second unit of Koeberg Power Station which would be able to generate 1 800 megawatts of electricity. This would further increase the capacity of our stations by generating more units of electricity,” Phasiwe