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Huge debts owed to South African firm Eskom worsens its financial woes | Coastweek

CAPE TOWN South Africa -- Eskom executives including CEO Phakamani Hadebe [front row second from the left], at a 2019 public forum in Cape Town on Eskom’s financial situation. PHOTO - WIKIPEDIA

Huge debts owed to South African firm Eskom
now worsen its long lasting financial difficulties

by Zodidi Mhlana JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The 35 billion rand (2.5 billion U.S. dollars) owed to power utility Eskom by South African municipalities and communities has left the company struggling and unable to meet some of its obligations, Eskom said on Monday.

"It’s a financial drain. We are unable to do certain things because we don’t have money," Eskom’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told Xinhua.

"We’re forced to go to market to borrow at high rate."

He said Eskom is satisfied that efforts to retrieve the billions have reached President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"Eskom is owed R18 billion (1.3 billion dollars) by municipalities and this excludes Soweto, which owes R17 billions (1.23 billion dollars)," he said.

Soweto is a sprawling township on the south-western flank of Johannesburg.

With a population of over 2 million, the township is the biggest black urban settlement in Africa.

Ramaphosa said last Thursday that "steps" must be taken to "reduce municipal non-payment and confront the culture of non-payment."

Eskom on Monday announced the implementation of stage-four power cuts.

Residents will face load shedding 12 times over a four day period for two hours at a time, or 12 times over an eight day period for four hours at a time.

The company said it has been forced to implement the power cuts because many generators are out of service.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Expert says South African government’s splitting Eskom might help cut costs

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The South African government’s decision to split Eskom into three entities may help the state utilities firm cut costs, an expert said on Saturday.

"Eskom is in a shrinking market. Any move to try and reduce cost should be supported," Jannie Rossouw, head of Wits Economic and Business Science School, said.

"Splitting would help to see where wastage is and to see where inefficiencies occur."

The decision was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nations address.

Ramaphosa said that Eskom, with the debt of more than 419 billion rand (30.6 billion U.S. dollars), would be split into three separate entities—generator, transmission and distribution—all under Eskom holdings.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa said the decision would see thousands of workers losing their jobs.

Rossouw agrees that job cuts would not be avoided.

"The company is overstaffed.

"It can’t be sustainable employing 48,000 people," he said.
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South Africa’s trade union to embark on march against job losses

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- With about 50,000 jobs losses looming in both the public and private sectors in 2019, South Africa’s largest trade union federation said it is ready to embark on a national march in protest against this.

The Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali on Tuesday said in Johannesburg that workers are ready to defend their livelihood.

"Cosatu believes the labor movement must develop ways of contesting retrenchments at an industry-wide and economy.

"We demand a moratorium on all retrenchments," Ntshalintshali said.

Cosatu is expecting thousands of members to participate in the march in eight provinces next Wednesday.

Ntshalintshali said workers’ views on the structure of the economy should be considered.

"The fight against job losses means that workers must have a say in how the economy is structured and managed."

State-owned entities such as power utility Eskom and mining companies especially in the platinum sector are among those expected to retrench workers.

Cosatu’s spokesperson Sizwe Pamla explained to Xinhua that generating profits is the main reason companies resort to retrenching workers.

"When we were doing an assessment, we realized that it’s profits more than anything else that push the retrenchments."
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South Africa president’s SONA welcomed for touching upon key issues

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The South African business community and labor on Friday welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Rand Merchant Bank economist Mpho Tsebe said the SONA has addressed some important issues.

"President Ramaphosa delivered a SONA that sounded all the right notes on Eskom, corruption, job creation and to some extent, healthcare and education.

"There was something for everyone," said Tsebe.

"Key take-aways are that growth and employment initiatives will concentrate on expanding exports and tourism as well as infrastructure development." she said.

"Though positive, many of his proposed changes lacked detail or discernible timelines.

"This casts a shadow of skepticism over whether the amendments will actually come into effect." she said.

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) agreed with Ramaphosa’s emphasis on economic growth, the pressing need to create jobs and prioritize skills and education.

BUSA President Sipho Pityana welcomed the establishment of a commission on the 4th industrial revolution.

Pityana said, "Of significance is accelerating the release of high-speed spectrum, which will aid efforts to ready South Africa for the 4th Industrial Revolution, as well as the president’s emphasis on creating a conducive environment in which business, inclusive of small business, can participate in the economy."

He also welcomed Ramaphosa’s commitment to deal with corruption.

BUSA said the SONA was unequivocal in sketching South Africa’s national priorities and unambiguous about its policy direction, setting the country on the course to become a dynamic future-oriented economy.

Former South African President Frederik de Klerk said the address has some interesting elements that may indicate a different approach and a stronger emphasis on the need to correct what has gone wrong in the last nine years.

De Kelrk also welcomed Ramaphosa on prioritizing urgent issues and acknowledging the task at hand.

Ramaphosa presented the SONA in Parliament on Thursday night.

He talked tough on corruption and the need to restore confidence in crucial entities, like the National Prosecuting Authority, South African Revenue Service and Eskom.
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 DECEMBER 2018 

South African president appoints task team to stabilize electricity utility

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday appointed a task team to stabilize electricity utility Eskom which is blamed for worsening power shortage that has gripped the country for more than a month.

The Eskom Sustainability Task Team will advise the government on actions to resolve the utility’s operational, structural and financial challenges, Ramaphosa said.

The task team comprises individuals with extensive electricity, management and economic expertise, he said.

It will, among others, assess how the structure of the electricity industry in South Africa can adapt to evolving changes in this sector, including the harnessing of new technologies, and make proposals to resolve Eskom’s debt burden, according to the president.

The assessments that will be carried out by the task team arise from the government’s concern that the lack of adequate electricity has a negative impact on economic recovery, Ramaphosa said.

He stressed the need for intervention in the short and medium terms to restore the supply-demand balance.

Eskom, which provides more than 95 percent of the electricity consumed in South Africa, has implemented rolling blackouts since November, seriously affecting economic activities and people’s lives.

There have been conflicting reports surrounding the current crisis—ranging from state capture and a lack of coal to allegations of irregular tenders and Eskom’s use of companies that are unable to provide the services Eskom so desperately needs.

Eskom has been accused of signing behind-the-door tender agreements with companies linked with the controversial Indian Gupta family which allegedly colluded with senior government officials in looting from state-owned enterprises, known as state capture.

The Gupta-linked companies are blamed for the shortage of coal which Eskom heavily relies on for power generation.

The current crisis is coupled with severe financial constraints at Eskom, which impact on the fiscus, and where operational and financial issues have become inter-related and need to be addressed simultaneously, Ramaphosa said on Friday.

Appreciating the urgency of the matter, the president requested the task team to submit initial recommendations by the end of January 2019.

Eskom is burdened by a debt of between 250 million and 475 million rand (between 17 million and 33 million U.S. dollars), according to Ramaphosa.

The parastatal reportedly wants to transfer a large section of its debt to the government.

On Friday, international rating agency Moody’s criticized Eskom’s attempt to transfer its debt to the government, saying this will place a heavy burden on the state.

The debt transfer will increase the government’s debt levels by around two percentage points, according to Moody’s.

The decision to transfer Eskom’s debt comes with a "moral hazard," Moody’s said.

Moody’s and other international rating agencies have warned that Eskom is a risk to the health of South Africa’s economy.
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South Africa debt-ridden electricity utility gets French
funding to enhance power transmission

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s electricity utility Eskom said on Thursday that it has secured a loan worth 1.5 billion rand (about 107 million U.S. dollars) from French Development Agency (AFD) to enhance power transmission.

An agreement to this effect was signed between the two sides on Thursday, Eskom said.

The loan facility from AFD aims to support Eskom’s investment policy in strengthening its high-voltage electricity network, in order to ensure the integration of planned or under-construction renewable energy sources, Eskom said.

This is in line with Eskom’s Transmission Development Plan 2019-2028 investment of 91 billion rand for the construction of 6,535 km of high voltage lines and the installation of 45,900 MVA of additional transformer capacity.

The transmission system plays a pivotal role in the nation-wide provision of electricity, as it delivers electricity from the power stations to distribution centers across South Africa, said Eskom.

"AFD remains part of a core of longstanding partners to Eskom, and we regard the signing of this loan agreement as a formal yet symbolic gesture of a sustainable partnership in aiding Eskom to enhance the security of supply, and stabilize the power systems in South Africa," said Phakamani Hadebe, Eskom’s Group Chief Executive.

"AFD’s funding to Eskom reaffirms our commitment to support the public utility’s efforts to diversify its energy mix, which will ultimately strengthen its capacity to respond to the growing energy needs of South Africa while addressing the climate change challenges attached to it," said Bruno Deprince, AFD’s Regional Director.

This funding also demonstrates AFD’s support to Eskom in a period of transition and recovery, he added.

Eskom, which provides more than 95 percent of the electricity consumed in South Africa, has implemented rolling blackouts for more than one month, seriously affecting economic activities and people’s lives.

The state-run parastatal has been blamed for poor management and rampant corruption which are believed to be the main factors for the blackouts.

Eskom says it implements load shedding rotationally as a last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse.

Cash-strapped Eskom reportedly wants the South African government to absorb about 100 billion rand of its debt as part of a rescue plan for the utility.

International ratings agencies have warned that Eskom is a risk to the health of South Africa’s economy.
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South African electricity utility refutes criticism over load shedding

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s electricity utility Eskom on Tuesday refuted criticism over frequent load shedding that has gripped the country for more than one month.

Load shedding "is implemented as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout," Eskom said.

The energy parastatal, which provides more than 95 percent of the electricity consumed in South Africa, has been lambasted for poor management and corruption which have led to the current load shedding.

All international rating agencies have warned that Eskom is a risk to the health of South Africa’s economy.

There has been allegation in the media and on social platforms recently that Eskom implements load shedding as a way of "diversion."

Former Eskom executive Matshela Koko joined in the chorus of criticism.

He tweeted that there’s no need for load shedding and something is horribly wrong to justify intentional outages when there is adequate generating capacity.

Such allegation "is itself a diversion and far from the truth," Eskom said.

Eskom has consistently informed the public that load shedding happens as a result of a shortage of capacity due to a number of factors, including generating units being out of service because of breakdowns, the utility said.

There have been conflicting reports surrounding the current power crisis—ranging from state capture and a lack of coal to allegations of irregular tenders and Eskom’s use of companies that are unable to provide the services Eskom so desperately needs.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has urged Eskom to provide clarity with regards to the many theories, explanations and excuses provided by Eskom "during these very dark days."

Eskom has been accused of signing behind-the-door tender agreements with companies linked with the controversial Indian Gupta family which allegedly colluded with senior government officials in looting from state-owned enterprises, known as state capture.

The Gupta-linked companies are blamed for the shortage of coal which Eskom heavily relies on for power generation.

"We have experienced deterioration in plant performance over the past six months resulting in shortage of capacity to meet the demand in electricity which has forced us to implement load shedding," Eskom said in a statement.

Referring to allegations that Eskom implements load shedding while it has surplus generating capacity and a reserve margin of 23 percent, the utility said that if one takes all power stations into account there is an operational surplus and sufficient megawatts to meet demand.

"However, due to the magnitude of units on technical breakdowns, the number of megawatts to meet demand has reduced.

"In order to match the demand in the country load shedding has to be implemented to balance what is available and to avoid a total collapse of the power system," Eskom said.

While Eskom is currently implementing a short-term to medium-term recovery plan, its challenges can only be resolved in a partnership with government, key stakeholders, and all electricity customers, the utility said.

"We are confident that we have the capacity to address these power generation challenges.

"South Africans can also assist us by using electricity sparingly and reducing demand throughout the day by switching off non-essential appliances and lighting," said Eskom.

Since 2008, South Africa has suffered from power insufficiency which has led to economic losses of an estimated 300 billion rand (about 21 billion U.S. dollars).
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South Africa’s electricity utility urged to provide
clarity over worsening power shortages

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- Calls emerged on Sunday for electricity utility Eskom to provide clarity over the re-implementation of power cuts that have gripped the country for more than one month.

Especially for the past week, load shedding was upgraded from Stage 1 to Stage 2, the most serious load shedding this year.

Stage 1 load shedding allows for up to 1,000MW of the national load to be shed once a day, while Stage 2 calls for 2,000MW to be rotationally shed nationally at a given period.

There have been conflicting reports surrounding the current crisis—ranging from state capture and a lack of coal to allegations of irregular tenders and Eskom’s use of companies that are unable to provide the services Eskom so desperately needs.

On Sunday, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) urged Eskom to provide clarity with regards to the many theories, explanations and excuses provided by Eskom "during these very dark days."

Eskom has been accused of signing behind-the-door tender agreements with companies linked with the controversial Indian Gupta family which allegedly colluded with senior government officials in looting from state-owned enterprises, known as state capture.

Gupta-linked companies are blamed for the shortage of coal which Eskom heavily relies on for power generation.

"For the sake of clarity and transparency, the DA calls on Eskom to provide a list of all the companies it has taken action against with regards to incorrect tender processes," said Natasha Mazzone, DA spokesperson on state capture.

The DA also calls on Eskom to inform South Africans whether it has applied for any urgent interdicts to stop contracts which result in coal shortages, Mazzone said.

Eskom, which provides more than 95 percent of electricity consumed in the country, implements load shedding rotationally as a last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse.

Earlier this week, the DA launched a petition with the aim of breaking monopoly on electricity generation to allow independent power producers to play a role.
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Eskom has proven that it is incapable of delivering power to South Africans within its current operational model, and it has proven so time and again in many different ways, Mazzone said.

For example, money for plant maintenance was re-directed toward Gupta-linked firms in 2015, resulting in new and higher upkeep costs in 2018, he said.

Poor project management at Medupi and Kusile, two major stations, also doubled the costs of the building process, Mazzone said.

The underlying problem, regardless of the current crisis, is that the structure of Eskom inevitably needs to change, he said.

Eskom is an entity which finds itself in a state of complete collapse and the only thing that can save it is if the entire structure changes, Mazzone added.

All these problems highlight the serious corruption and irregularities at the state-run parastatal, Mazzone said.

"South Africans deserve clarity and honesty with regards to this crisis," he said.

International ratings agencies have warned that Eskom is a risk to the health of South Africa’s economy.
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Petition launched in South
Africa to break monopoly
on electricity generation

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- A nationwide petition was launched on Wednesday in South Africa with the aim of breaking monopoly on electricity generation amid worsening blackouts.

Hours after the petition was launched by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), thousands of South Africans have signed the petition.

This came after continuous power blackouts gripped the country recently.

On Wednesday, state-run electricity utility Eskom, which supplies more than 95 percent of the electricity consumed in the country, implemented Stage 2 load shedding for the third consecutive day as a result of a shortage of capacity due to a number of generating units still out of service.

Stage 2 calls for 2,000 MW to be rotationally loadshed nationally at a given period.

This was the most serious load shedding this year.

Previously, Stage 1 load shedding, which allows for up to 1,000 MW of the national load to be shed once a day, had been implemented several times.

If the situation worsens, Stage 3, which allows up to 4,000 MW to be shed, will be implemented.

Eskom implements load shedding rotationally as a last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse.

"Power blackouts are killing jobs and making life harder for South Africans," the DA said.

The DA is calling for the adoption of the Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill which it said would turn around malfunctioning Eskom and put an end to crippling power blackouts.

If the bill was passed by Parliament, independent power producers could play a bigger role in electricity generation.

"We need to urgently implement the DA’s plan to break Eskom’s monopoly, and save South Africans money by giving them more options when it comes to buying electricity," the opposition party said.

Electricity generation in South Africa needs efficiency, stability and competitive pricing, the DA said.

Also on Wednesday, the Business Day newspaper reported that Eskom wants the South African government to absorb about 100 billion rand (about 7.3 billion U.S. dollars) of its debt as part of a rescue plan for the state-owned utility.

International rating agencies have warned that Eskom is a risk to the health of South Africa’s economy.
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 NOVEMBER 2018 

Continuing power shortage
worsens across South Africa

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s power shortage worsened on Friday as large parts of the country were gripped by loadshedding.

 
 
 

South African power utility Eskom
helping conserve the environment

 

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Replanting baobab trees South Africa | Coastweek

 
 

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Preparing construction Medupi Power Station.
 
 

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  Site clearing Medupi - May 2007. PHOTOS - ESKOM  
 

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Replanting baobab trees South Africa | Coastweek

 
 

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  Blasting Medupi - July 2007.  
 

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Replanting baobab trees South Africa | Coastweek

 
 

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  Ground preparation at Medupi.  
 

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Replanting baobab trees South Africa | Coastweek

 
 

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Re-planting baobab trees at Medupi site.

 
 

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Replanting baobab trees South Africa | Coastweek

 
 

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One year later - re-planted baobab trees.

 
 

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Stage 2 rotational loadshedding was implemented from 09:00 a.m. and was likely to continue until 22:00 p.m. as a result of loss of additional power generation units overnight, said electricity utility Eskom, which provides more than 95 percent of the electricity consumed in the country.

Stage 2 calls for 2,000 MW to be rotationally loadshed nationally at a given period.

This was the most serious load shedding this year. Previously, Stage 1 load shedding, which allows for up to 1,000 MW of the national load to be shed once a day, had been implemented several times.

If the situation worsens, Stage 3, which allows up to 4,000 MW to be shed, will be implemented.

Load shedding is implemented rotationally as a last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse, Eskom said.

"We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly during this period.

"Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand," the state-run parastatal said.

The generation and distribution of electricity in the country has been constrained because Eskom is running short of coal, which the utility relies on to generate power stations, raising fears that similar loadshedding is on the way as in 2014 and 2015 when frequent loadshedding gripped the country.

Since 2008, South Africa has suffered from power insufficiency which has led to economic losses of an estimated 300 billion rand (about 23 billion U.S. dollars).
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South African lawmakers seek enhanced investigation into power utility

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African lawmakers on Wednesday urged an enhanced investigation into state-run electricity utility Eskom which is blamed for regular rolling blackouts that have gripped the country for years.

They pointed to "substantial evidence" that what Eskom is experiencing "are the effects of state capture in the country."

Earlier on Wednesday, Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe briefed lawmakers on the parastatal’s annual report and financial statement for 2017/18 amid a new spate of load shedding implemented by Eskom to avoid the total collapse of the national grid.

In response to the briefing, the lawmakers suggested that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, and the National Prosecuting Authority, should get involved in the investigations into Eskom.

Eskom, along with some other state-run enterprises, is believed to be looted by the controversial Indian family in collaboration with a number of senior government officials, known as state capture.

South African law enforcement agencies have launched a manhunt for senior Gupta family members, who reportedly have sought refuge in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

State capture allegations implicates 11 senior Eskom executives who, according to Hadebe, have exited the company.

In addition, 1,049 disciplinary cases have been opened since April 2018, of which 822 have been finalized, resulting in 97 employee leaving the company, Hadebe said.

But lawmakers were disappointed that no one has ever been arrested.

"It is disgraceful that there have been no arrests on the matter where there is substantial evidence," Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises said in a statement emailed to Xinhua following the briefing.

Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of electricity consumed in South Africa, relies heavily on coal to generate its power stations.

Eskom has been haunted by a lack of liquidity, poor governance and corruption, and downgraded repeatedly by ratings agencies.

These have led to power insufficiency since 2008 which seriously impedes the country’s economic growth and affects people’s lives.
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South African government urged to reshape entire energy sector

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- Calls emerged on Monday for the South African government to reshape the country’s entire sector to avoid rolling blackouts.

This came after parts of South Africa were plunged into darkness on Sunday when electricity utility Eskom was forced to implement emergency stage 1 load shedding following the revelation that five of its coal power stations had less than 10 days of coal supply.

"These outages are proof that South Africa desperately needs a long-term solution to reshape the entire energy sector," the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said.

Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of the electricity consumed in South Africa, relies heavily on coal to generate its power stations.

The utility reportedly is looking to spend one billion rand (about 70 million U.S. dollars) on diesel over the next four months to fill the gap and keep the lights on.

Calling the move "unsustainable," the DA said there is a complete lack of long-term planning and strategy at Eskom.

"Eskom needs a firm plan of action to make it more efficient and productive," said Natasha Mazzone, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises.

The DA has introduced its proposed Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill which will see Eskom split into two entities, a transmission/grid entity, and a generating entity to resolve the current impasse.

This would allow the state-run parastatal to compete with other power producers on an equal footing, with price and efficiency being the main determinants of delivering power to the national electricity grid, the DA said.

"Eskom’s monopolistic stranglehold of power delivery to the economy must be broken," Mazzone said.

This is the only way South Africa can free up the energy space to competition, stability and reliability, he said.

Since 2008, South Africa has suffered from power insufficiency which seriously impedes the country’s economic growth and affects people’s lives, particularly in 2014 and 2015 when load shedding constantly gripped the country.

Poor management and lack of funding have forced Eskom to implement load shedding at three stages as a last resort to protect the national system from a total blackout.

Stage 1 load shedding allows for up to 1,000MW of the national load to be shed once a day.

"If the pressure grows, stage 2 for up to 2,000MW or stage three for up to 4,000MW would be shed.

"At stage 2, power goes off twice a day, while at stage 3, electricity could be cut two or three times a day.
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AfDB signs loan agreemnt with Eskom to expand power pool in Southern Africa

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and South Africa’s power utility Eskom on Tuesday signed a loan agreement worth 2.886 billion rand (about 209 million U.S. dollars) to improve power transmission in Southern Africa.

The loan will be used for the construction of 552 kilometres of transmission lines and associated substations across Mpumalanga and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces, the upgrade of substation equipment including earthing systems at various existing substations in Mpumalanga, Eskom said.

It’s anticipated that this will translate to integration of distributed generation of mainly large-scale renewable energy, into the transmission network, ensure reliability and security of supply, reduction of transmission losses, improved regional integration and safety of operations and maintenance personnel, according to Eskom.

The financing of the Eskom Transmission Project will result in a significant strengthening of South Africa’s transmission infrastructure, said Kapil Kapoor, Director General of AfDB’s Southern Africa Bureau.

"Not only will this improve the reliability and security of electricity supply, but will also allow for the integration of large-scale renewable energy into the transmission network, enhance network capacity for future load growth and ensure reduction in transmission losses," Kapoor said.

Eskom, South Africa’s major power provider, also contributes about three quarters of the total installed power generation capacity in the Southern African Power Pool, exporting power to at least six countries in the region.

Eskom and AfDB have enjoyed a productive partnership since 2009 when the bank approved the first facility in support of the utility’s capital expansion program.

This project has contributed to the realization of the New Deal on Energy in Southern Africa, one of the bank’s priority development areas, by ensuring capacity to add new connections in South Africa and the region.

"We are encouraged by the level of support that we continue to receive from Developing Finance Institutions, such as the African Development Bank which continues to be a significant partner and a key contributor to the progress achieved by Eskom in the execution of the current capital expansion program," said Calib Cassim, Eskom’s Acting Chief Financial Officer.

The loan comes at a time when Eskom has made major advancements towards fully securing the 72 billion rand funding requirement for this year, according to Cassim.

These kinds of facilities are a demonstration of the bank’s mandate to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries, he said.

             

 

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