ANC’s big Eskom load-shedding lie

The latest data from Eskom about load-shedding in 2024 reveals that ANC politicians’ promises about the end of rolling blackouts are nothing but electioneering.

On Tuesday, 2 January 2024, Eskom implemented the first load-shedding of the year after three generating units with a potential 2,148MW capacity did not come back online.

Eskom also experienced the unplanned losses of six generating units with a combined capacity of 3,113MW.

“Unplanned outages are currently at 16,231MW of generating capacity, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 8,451MW,” Eskom said.

Energy analyst Chris Yelland said the 24,682 MW of Eskom’s generation capacity, which is not available for duty, is sitting at record levels.

To most energy experts, the continued load-shedding does not come as a surprise as they have predicted rolling blackouts to continue for years.

However, it exposed the empty promises from ANC politicians regarding fixing Eskom and the end of load-shedding.

Last year, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula told eNCA that by the end of 2023, load-shedding will be a thing of the past.

“Load-shedding, before the end of the year, should be something of the past,” he told Power to Truth’s JJ Tabane.

In May 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa told South Africans that the end of load-shedding should be in sight soon.

Three months later, he doubled down on his promise, saying the government is doing great work to fix Eskom and the energy crisis and that load-shedding will end by 2024.

“Energy has been a great drawback to us, but we are working on it, and we are certain that by 2024, the energy crisis will be over,” Ramaphosa said.

In September 2023, Deputy President Paul Mashatile said the government wants to “put load-shedding behind us by next year”.

“So, we are going to push, but we are very careful not to push our power stations to the point of breakdown,” he said.

Promising the end of load-shedding ahead of an election year may pick up cheap votes, but the reality is that power cuts are likely to continue for a long time.

Eskom’s latest system status report’s 52-week outlook warned of severe electricity generation shortages for the whole of 2024.

Eskom’s likely risk scenario from January to December 2024 is red, pointing to a shortfall of over 2,001 MW. Simply put, it warns of severe load-shedding for at least the next year.

The chart below shows Eskom’s system outlook deterioration between January 2024 and December 2024.


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