Tuesday, January 18

I’m not quitting, says Eskom’s boss.

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter is going nowhere. The board has not discussed his resignation with him and will not surrender it of his own free will.

Facing sharp questions about the current round of load shedding phase 4 of up to 500 journalists at a hastily convened press conference Tuesday afternoon, the weary-looking De Ruyter said Eskom needs continuity in leadership and that it will be will remain.

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De Ruyter’s response comes after calls for his resignation, among others, the Black Business Council (BBC) and the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa), in light of Eskom’s continued inability to provide a power supply. stable to the country.

In recent days, Eskom has blamed diesel shortages, negligent personnel, maintenance delays, procurement delays, a lack of money and a blackout in Zambia on blackouts that South Africa has been suffering on and off since October.


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On Tuesday, the utility company added municipalities and large power users that do not comply with load shedding instructions to the list, which, according to De Ruyter, led Eskom to intensify the Stage 2 load shedding to Stage 4 this week.

The executive of the generation group Segomoco Scheepers declined to name the wandering clients and municipalities, saying the list of municipalities “is quite long” as only Buffalo City and eThekwini complied.

Scheepers said Eskom has written to these non-compliant councils.

When pressed on the details, he confessed that “not all 160” municipalities did not comply. “We look at the largest municipalities.”

It did not answer a question about the extent of the volume loss shortfall in response to the Stage 2 instructions.

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said Eskom can currently only reliably provide 25,000 to 27,000 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity.

On Monday (November 8) total demand was 30,440MW, according to data tweeted by Eskom spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

De Ruyter repeatedly said that the country needs 4,000 to 6,000 MW of additional generating capacity to ensure electrical safety.

He welcomed the recent announcement of the winning bidders in the fifth round of renewable energy purchases from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy from independent power producers.

These projects have yet to come to a financial close, and it will be around two years from then before they come to the aid of the fighter Eskom.

Eskom’s hopes for the rest of this week

De Ruyter said Eskom expects to bring an increasing number of generating units back into service and expects to reduce the load shedding level to Stage 3 on Wednesday morning at 5:00 and further to Stage 2 on Friday. in the morning at the same time. It expects to stop the cargo shedding at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday.

De Ruyter and Oberholzer said Eskom’s power system is not close to total collapse.

Oberholzer said the Eskom system operator is among the best in the world at managing a restricted system.

He also asked energy analysts to refrain from making irresponsible statements about the likelihood of a total blackout.

Read: Eskom is rebooting – CEO explains how

De Ruyter, when asked why his expectation was not met shortly after assuming the top job at Eskom that the power supply would stabilize in 18 months, he pointed to three issues.

First of all, he said that Eskom lost six months in its maintenance program due to the impact of Covid-19. Second, the pressure on Eskom’s liquidity further restricted the finance team’s ability to release funds for maintenance. And third, it did not fully appreciate the challenges posed by public procurement rules.

“It takes 77 days to get approval from the National Treasury” for certain procurement decisions, De Ruyter said.

He added that Eskom cannot, within these restrictive rules, appoint competent contractors quickly, efficiently, and adequately resourced with parts and everything they need to get the job done.


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