Eskom, the power utility, has revealed that it has already spent R626 million on diesel this month.
This equates to approximately 48.5 million litres, according to Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. This comes as Eskom briefed the media on Thursday about the system’s current challenges.
Caleb Cassim, Eskom’s chief financial officer, stated that the power utility spent less than R7 billion on its own diesel in the previous fiscal year (April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022).
The power utility announced on Wednesday that it was reducing load shedding from Stage 4 to Stage 3, and that load shedding would be suspended by Friday. “We intend to drop to Stage 2 after the evening peak. After the peak on Friday evening, we can lift [load shedding] for the weekend,” he said.
When asked about load shedding for next week, De Ruyter expressed hope that there would be none but added that load shedding cannot be predicted.
“Prognosis is that we don’t anticipate load shedding for next week, but it is dependent on the stability of the system. It depends on how we perform on the weekend, and the rain on the weekend – we may see further impact and it may impact generational capacity.
“Monday is tight. After that we’ll know. We don’t plan for load shedding next week, but there’s always a risk,” De Ruyter said.
Rhulani Mathebula, Eskom’s head of generation, said the power utility has 79 coal units, 18 of which are “forced off” due to breakdowns and eight on planned maintenance.
South Africans were thanked for their patience during this period and encouraged to continue saving electricity.