A shopper looks for goods during an electricity load-shedding blackout in Johannesburg

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa acknowledged that there will be temporary setbacks in Eskom's efforts to reduce load shedding. However, he noted that the power utility is on the right path.

Speaking on Monday, while updating the nation about the implementation of the Energy Action Plan, the minister said Eskom has reduced load shedding by 600 hours in December and January 2023/24 period, compared to the previous year.

He noted that the power utility has received 3,510 megawatts (MW) of capacity in the last year which helped the power stations to operate smoothly, while acknowledging additional work remains at Tutuka, Kendal, Matla and other power stations.

"We are going in the right direction. Ultimately, we want to go into a situation where I'm able to stand before the public and say we have not experienced any hours of load shedding. Load shedding in its totality is unacceptable," the minister claimed, SA News reported.

"But we have come to a situation where it has become a daily occurrence so gradually, we want to reduce that intensity of load shedding," he added.

Ramokgopa admitted that South Africans faced intense load shedding in the last few days.

"We are going to have temporary setbacks; this was a setback. The team identified what was the root cause. These lessons will then be exported to other power stations so that we don't suffer similar fates," he said.

He explained that the team is on the right track and the "trend line remains positive," adding that the energy utility is confident with their work and intervention.

The minister said, "If you were to add the new generation capacity which is now throttled by the fact that we've got challenges on the transmission side, once we resolve those issues, we are on the right course...to deliver on the Energy Action Plan."

In the wake of solving the energy crisis in the country, the power utility announced last month that South Africa's town of Clarens in the Free State has become the country's first town to manage its electricity demand during load curtailment.