Load-shedding may end soon, says Ramokgopa

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa

South Africa’s power crisis could come to an end sooner than anticipated, with the intensity of rolling blackouts being reduced, according to the minister of electricity.

“I said when I started this assignment, we will resolve load-shedding, and I think that we will resolve it much quicker than we had anticipated,” Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said at a media briefing in Pretoria on Sunday.

Energy availability in South Africa has increased to almost 70%, according to a cabinet statement on Thursday.

The so-called energy availability factor had dropped to historic lows of less than 50% earlier this year because of frequent breakdowns at state-owned power utility Eskom’s plants.

Improved generation capacity means there is now more scope to undertake planned maintenance, said Ramokgopa at the briefing.

Eskom has been using rolling blackouts since 2008 to reduce reliance on its ailing plants. Those outages have intensified, with regular outages since January lasting as long as 12 hours a day.

Recently the power cuts have been reduced, and there’s electricity available for about two-thirds of each day.


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