Brown: Load shedding to continue for three more years

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 14, 2015

Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, has said that South Africans should brace themselves for three more years of load shedding as Eskom continues to struggle with meeting demands.

Her announcement comes shortly after the state-owned parastatal said that it would be implementing stage one load-shedding from 16h00-22h00 due to lack of generating capacity as regular maintenance continues to be carried out.

Addressing the media at a briefing earlier today, Brown also rejected the idea of the beleaguered power utility being privatised, but added that teaming up with a “strategic partner” remains a probability.

“I actually don't really believe we should have privatisation when it comes to basic services ... (however) there are parts of what we own that could go to a strategic partner, but when it comes to basic services I am not in favour,” she said.

Eskom has meanwhile revealed that the recently commissioned Unit 6 of its much troubled Medupi Power Station had gone six days without a experiencing a blackout, and generated a new output record of 735 megawatts, not far from its claimed capacity of 794 megawatts.

“We are pleased with this significant milestone and believe that power from this unit will go a long way in alleviating the capacity challenges we are facing,” acting CEO Brain Molefe was quoted by News24 as saying.

“We commend the project team for their hard work and level of commitment in these trying times and this achievement gives a strong indication that we are steadily turning the corner in our quest to ease the pressure on the national power grid”.