Load shedding is very expensive for South Africa. It is the reason economists are saying the economy is growing slowly. Whatever happens, we’ll find the money to fund the maintenance programme.
Eskom’s strategy is based on several factors: 7 000MW will be off the grid in planned maintenance at any given time over the next year to catch up on backlogs many of South Africa’s ageing power generation plants require, securing new supplies through, for example, independent power provider contracts and managing demand. Energy supplies will be tight until September 14 and again from May to August next year.
Meanwhile, the massive coal-power generators at Medupi and Kusile to bring 9 600MW to the grid, alongside the Ingula pumped-storage scheme’s contribution of 1 332MW, are behind schedule – and, in the case of the coal power stations, over budget.
Medupi and Kusile are four years behind schedule and expected to be fully online by 2019. Costs for Medupi stand at R105 billion, up from the initial R69bn price tag, and costs at Kusile are R118bn, up from R80bn, according to an Eskom presentation to the parliamentary public enterprises committee in April.
There’d been “insufficient planning” and if Medupi had been built on time, SA would have averted the situation (of load shedding) or made it less.
Check the status up on Eskoms loadshedding website for more updates