South Africa's Eskom to reduce power cuts but long-term outlook bleak

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni assured South Africans that the higher stages of load shedding are "temporary."

Ntshavheni spoke with the press on Thursday to address the ongoing energy crisis in the country and said that the Cabinet has "clear plans" for providing additional capacity for electricity.

"Cabinet is assured that the increases in load shedding are indeed temporary. There are clear plans for when additional capacity will come through," she said, News24 reported. "There is the return to service of Kusile units 1 to 4. There is also additional work being done."

The minister further shared that the Cabinet is assured about the measures that need to be taken, adding that the "increase in load shedding stages is indeed a temporary measure" while the government is confident to resolve the load shedding problem.

The energy company, Eskom announced on Tuesday that due to the loss of four generating units, South Africa will face a combination of Stage 5 and Stage 6 of load shedding until Friday morning.

Ntshavheni explained that the Cabinet is aware of Eskom's current maintenance plan, which has increased the load-shedding stages, noting that the current maintenance plan was made to ensure the sustainability of power plants across the nation.

"The concerted implementation of the planned fleet maintenance program has resulted in increased stages of load shedding in recent days," she said, SA News reported. "The implementation of Stage 6 load shedding in the last week was a regress from the trends that prevailed in the previous weeks of lower stages of load shedding."

She assured that the current implementation of the plan, which increased the load shedding, is a short-term phase while Eskom is preparing to "lessened stages of load shedding in the not-so-distant future."

Minister Ntshavheni noted that the Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa will further update on the "progress being made to address the current electricity challenges and the steps being taken to ultimately end load shedding."

South Africa has been going through a power crisis for many years. Load shedding is a major issue in South Africa as it impacts businesses and individuals on a daily basis in the country.

The country recently signed an agreement with China during the 15th BRICS summit last month to receive emergency energy solutions from the Asian country.

Electricity Minister Ramokgopa announced in July that the government is working on 25 projects that will help to upgrade Eskom's infrastructure to ensure increased energy generation capacity and reduce load shedding.