Eskom warns of load shedding risk across South Africa

Eskom has indicated that the risk of nation-wide electricity outages had increased significantly due to a sharp fall in coal stockpiles at five of its power stations.

Speaking to Reuters, Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said that the risk of cuts was not specific to one area but was a national issue.

“The risk of load shedding is there and its rising,” Phasiwe.

“In total, we have 11 coal-fired power stations that have less than the required minimum amount of 20 days stockpile.

“Out of the 11, five of them have less than 10 days of coal stock and that is the challenge.”

The embattled power supplier announced last week that it would be cutting jobs at a management level in a bid to further save on costs at the group.

The power utility said that despite efforts to curb expenditure, its operating costs have continued to increase dramatically while output has remained largely unchanged.

“As a result, Eskom’s Board of Directors has decided to review the company’s organisational design to enhance operational and cost efficiencies. As such, Eskom’s Board has approved a Section 189 process for its executive structure [F-Bands],” it said.

Despite these measures, electricity consumers can still expect steep increases in the coming years.

Eskom has applied for a 15% increase to tariffs every year for the next three years – but says that it is actually entitled to hike fees by 90%.

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