Hydrogen fuel is considered 'green' when produced using electricity derived from renewables such as solar and wind

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said that Eskom, responsible for supplying electricity across the country, has achieved around 70.78% of the Energy Availability Factor (EAF) mark.

During a media briefing on the implementation of the EAF on Monday, the minister noted that Eskom has suspended load shedding for more than a month, highlighting that it was last achieved 70% EAF mark in August 2021.

"The month-to-date statistics suggest that we are at 64.34% and the year to date we are at 59.92%. But we have breached the psychological mark of 70% as a result of this consistent performance," he said, SA News reported.

Ramokgopa explained that this was possible because of the new board, which was appointed in October 2022. The minister also thanked President Ramaphosa for appointing him as the electricity minister.

He attributed "the stabilization of the management team, the introduction of performance-related incentive bonuses and the isolation of critical stations that required attention" for the improvement in the electricity supply.

The minister acknowledged that earlier the country was dealing with higher stages of load shedding. But, the aggressive maintenance-led recovery plan helped to lower the higher load shedding stages.

"When we went into December 2023, transitioning into January 2024, we reached the highest levels of planned maintenance in the period of three years. We took out 18% of the total generating capacity into planned maintenance and these units are coming back," he said.

He added, "What we are told in the public domain...[is] that the result of this improvement is on the back of the burning of diesel. There could be nothing further from the truth. This is anchored by these machines that are at Kusile and many other power stations."

While Ramokgopa noted the improvements made by Eskom, he also pointed out that there is a lot more work that needs to be done to ensure that the electricity issue in the country is completely resolved.

He said that power stations at Kusile, Lethabo, Majuba and Medupi need to perform at their best, adding that all power stations should be above 70% capacity.

"Of course we don't congratulate a fish for swimming because it must swim but we know where we come from. So I want to say to the [Eskom] team, thank you for breaching the 70% EAF... but we know that there are power stations that require attention going into the future," he concluded.

His speech was shared on the South African Government's official YouTube channel: