Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa concedes Eskom crisis is here to stay

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Apr 22, 2023


Johannesburg - As the ANC NEC meeting under way at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has conceded that the Eskom crisis is here to stay.

The minister was speaking during his address to members of the media on Saturday morning. Ramokgopa presented the outcomes following internal deliberations with other members of the NEC, alongside Minister of Human Settlements, Mmamoloko Kubayi as part of the media briefing on economic interventions and the energy crisis.

The minister said it will not be possible to end load shedding within 12 months as initially communicated, saying the Eskom crisis needs more time to be resolved.

He said there are a myriad of issues and challenges that needed to be resolved before the country’s energy crisis becomes a thing of the past.

“We are proposing four interventions, we need to run the gas turbines. We need to have diesel available to run these turbines.

“We also need to address the logistics issues of diesel. The NEC has had an overall technical discussion. We must exploit these open gas cycle turbines,” he said.

He said among the options and priorities to end load shedding would be to improve Eskom’s energy availability factor.

“We need to continue the effort of improving the Energy Availability Factor (EAF) of coal-powered stations. Eskom ramped planned capability factor, we have been aggressive doing this ahead of winter. Only three units will be out now for maintenance,” he said.

Ramokgopa said his ministry is aiming to add 12 000MW of power to the grid within the next six to 18 months, with some of the power coming from neighbouring countries, including an additional 1 000MW from Mozambique, once agreements are signed and sealed.