South Africa's state-run power utility, Eskom, is struggling with old coal-fired plants that need heavy maintenance

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, expressed his anger regarding the delays in refurbishing the Koeberg nuclear power plant, saying that he is "extremely worried about the situation" and disappointed.

"If that were to happen, we are going to lose an aggregate 1840 MW- two units having gone out there at the same time," he said, News24 reported. "It is something we are trying to avert and as I said, I will come back because there are additional questions that were not responded to when I met with the team at Koeberg."

Ramokgopa added, "So, I'm none the wiser about our ability to return this unit (unit 1) as promised."

"Where there are significant failures of delivering a project of this magnitude, genuine questions will be asked and they must be responded to, and if they get to be responded to through a forensic audit or investigation, it is not for me to determine, it's for the board to make that determination," the minister explained while addressing the load-shedding issue in the country on Sunday.

However, he noted that the government and the energy company should leave "no stone unturned" to find out the root cause of the problem, noting that the "sovereign interest of this country must be protected at all costs."

Ramokgopa said that the continuous increase in the intensity of load-shedding is undermining the credibility of efforts made by the government.

The electricity minister pointed out that it is "particularly unhelpful when Eskom has to go out from time to time with the announcement of the intensity of load shedding," SA News reported.

He noted that there was one day when Eskom "shifted the intensity of load shedding about three times in a space of about six hours," adding that this "undermines the credibility" of all the efforts made to reduce the load shedding stages.

During the media briefing, Ramokgopa also shared the progress of the Energy Action Plan (EAP). The minister shared that some extra megawatts have been added to the power grids while some of the problematic units will be taken out for service.

"This will give us an opportunity that when we make a promise of a Stage 'X' you won't find that much later we have to make amendments to that announcement, which undermine the statements Eskom releases from time to time," he added.

He also noted that Eskom is working on the Unplanned Capability Loss Factor (UCLF) on units that keep tripping. "It's an area that requires our attention," the minister said, adding that Eskom will keep the UCLF at less than 15,000 megawatts.

Last week, the minister apologized for intensified load shedding in the country.