Home Business Eskom not expected to implement load shedding during elections – Pravin

Eskom not expected to implement load shedding during elections – Pravin

by centra
Eskom not expected to implement load shedding during elections - Pravin

Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, says Eskom does not expect this weekend’s special voting process and Election Day to be hampered by load shedding.

He was speaking during a briefing on Wednesday evening following the implementation of stage four load shedding by the power utility, following trips, breakdowns and shutdowns at five power stations, which took nearly 15 000MW off the grid.

Gordhan said the power utility would be bringing back at least 2 000MW of electricity online by Thursday morning, with the system expected to be downgraded to level three load shedding.

He said both Eskom and government are “doing everything possible” to ensure that the voting weekend is not disrupted by blackouts.

“On Friday, a few more thousand units will be put back onto the system as a result of plants returning to operation that will downgrade to level two.

The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) led by Minister PravinGordhanhas announced that Harith General Partners and Global Airways, which make up Takatso Consortium, have been selected as the preferred Strategic Equity Partner (SEP) for the South African Airways (SAA), on Friday
The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) led by Minister Pravin Gordhan

“Over the weekend, load shedding will stop, which means that as South Africans go to the polls and as the counting of votes continues on Monday and over the next few days, there will be no load shedding, unless there is an unexpected event, which I am assured by the board and Eskom management is an unlikely event,” he said.

Gordhan said Eskom and the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) have also put in contingency measures should the power utility experience problems.

“The IEC itself has procured 14 000 lighting equipment for the various voting stations that are outside of Eskom’s supply areas. The 16 000 voting stations… have been divided into a number of clusters throughout the country, and each of the clusters will have, amongst other things, generators and technicians who are on standby in order to assist the IEC in any voting station where there might be difficulties that might emerge,” he said.

He said the IEC has also ensured that generators are present at the national and provincial Results Operations Centres and vote capturing sites to secure electricity supply.

Gordhan said the escalation of load shedding over the past week have made it “quite clear” that there is an urgent need to add more power to the electricity system.

“It is now urgent that all those parties that are responsible for ensuring that we utilise  gas or we ensure that the right amount of investment takes place for introducing more megawatts in the country must be speeded up with a greater sense of urgency that we’ve demonstrated at this particular point in time.

“Extraordinary measures will have to be taken to ensure that Eskom receives the support it requires in order to fulfil its function. At the same time, a higher level of vigilance, urgency and rigour is going to be required both of management and staff at Eskom itself,” the Minister said.

Coupled with this, Gordhan said new measures will be put in place to ensure that consequences must follow poor performance at the power utility.

“Pay will be directly related to performance. If your particular power station is not performing at the rate that it is capable of performing, then the necessary consequences must actually follow. 

“The chief executive and senior management will also ensure that there are senior people on the ground… to instil the right kind of urgency and vigilance at all levels of Eskom, particularly at the power station level,” Gordhan said. – SAnews

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