Eskom power stations are flat-lining and shutting themselves down

Issued by Samantha Graham-Maré MP – DA Shadow Minister of Electricity
12 Feb 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Samantha Graham-Maré MP.

In their clumsy attempt to shift the blame on the escalation of load-shedding to stage 6, the ANC’s Fikile Mbalula and the Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa failed dismally to hide the truth behind the crisis– which is that Eskom’s coal power stations are flat lining and are shutting themselves down.

The sudden drop in generation capacity, from when Ramaphosa finished delivering his discredited SONA speech to the announcement of stage 6 load-shedding a few hours later by Eskom, is a consequence of power stations that have reached their end-of-life capacity and cannot be pushed any further beyond their current limit.

Despite bringing Kusile units 1, 2, and 3 online in November 2023, the Energy Availability Factor (EAF) for the first 5 weeks of 2023 is worse than it was over the same period in 2024. This means that rather than improving – as is often claimed by ANC politicians, the performance of the coal power stations is rapidly declining, leaving them vulnerable to sudden breakdowns.

The ridiculous claim by Ramokgopa that declining output from wind and solar farms was to blame for stage 6 load-shedding should be dismissed with the contempt that it deserves. In the lead-up to stage 6 load shedding, there was a dramatic decline in coal output while solar and wind maintained steady supplies to the grid. Instead of explaining why coal power stations were shutting down by themselves, Ramokgopa thought he could cover up these failures by lying and laying the blame on renewable energy sources.

As for Mbalula, he should make himself useful for once and expose the ANC politicians who are behind the cartels destroying Eskom. Instead of pointing at imaginary saboteurs, he must reveal the politicians that are behind the criminal syndicates operating at Eskom – as exposed by the former Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter.

For a man who stood idly by while the country’s transport infrastructure was stripped to its bare bones, when he was still Transport Minister, his accusations of sabotage ring hollow.

What South Africa needs to stop the electricity crisis from deteriorating any further is to add new generation capacity as a matter of urgency. The ANC has, for the past 17 years, proven that it is incapable of solving the crisis.

We have an Electricity Minister who has failed to implement an Energy Action Plan, an Energy Minister who is fixated on fossil fuels and a President who can’t lead. Only a DA government has the governance experience to solve the electricity crisis and get South Africa working again.

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