Eskom makes it 18 days of no load shedding - just a bit late for economy

AUGUST 26, 2015

Eskom has so far not implemented load shedding for the past 18 days. On Wednesday, the power utility said this was partly because unit six at the Medupi power station, which has added extra generating capacity to the electricity grid - although this has come a bit too late for the economy.

Spokesman, Khulu Phasiwe told EWN; “Unit six of Medupi power station is doing very well since the official commercial operation on Sunday. But in actual fact, it has been producing power to the grid from 2 March this year.

“It’s giving the provision of about 800MW and is helping us to avoid load shedding.”

The unit, which was handed over to the utlity's operational division on Sunday after undergoing a test run for the past few months, has added enough power to light up a small city like Bloemfontein.

However, the 99 days of load shedding it had implemented in 2015 has caused manufacturing and mining output to decrease, Stats SA figures show.

Nomura analyst and emerging markets economist, Peter Attard Montalto, told the SABC that Africa's most industrialised country, whose GDP contracted by 1.3% in the second quarter of 2015, was behaving economically "like it had lost a major industry".

"This is the impact of Eskom load shedding," he said.

"Eskom's expenditure breakdown, which will be published in September, will show the impact it had on the domestic private sector investment, real rates and inventories and if it was felt through the whole economy."