NATIONAL NEWS - Eskom is optimistic its performance will improve as one of the two electric supply lines affected by cyclone Idai in Mozambique has been fixed.
Despite this, the Democratic Alliance has reportedly still blamed the power utility, saying it was alleged tender irregularities and state capture at the utility that had led to avoidable load shedding in the first place.
DA spokesperson Natasha Mazzone said: “Reports alleged that funds meant for vital maintenance of power plants were diverted to the Kusile power station and other capital expenditure programmes where looting took place through dodgy tenders.
“As a country, we are still waiting with bated breath for the arrest of those mixed up in corruption and the looting of Eskom and other state-owned entities.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa recently mentioned that allegations of sabotage at Eskom power stations were being investigated. “Unlike the ANC, the DA has zero tolerance for corruption and anyone found guilty of graft will be jailed for 15 years.”
The power utility sent out a statement yesterday explaining that imports from Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa had increased to 850MW (megawatts) since the restoration of the line, which had significantly improved electricity supply.
It added that the other line was badly damaged and it would take several months to fully repair it. Eskom also said the return online of five units since Friday morning contributed to performance and brought “temporary relief from load shedding” yesterday. The SOE said it had “achieved healthy diesel and water reserves over this period”.
The power utility added: “Employees continue to work around the clock to restore stability to operations and supply, with an additional four units expected to return to service today.
“We continue to appeal to customers to use electricity sparingly by switching off geysers and non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.”
Attempts to get further comment from Eskom or from Joburg City Power were unsuccessful.