Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has admitted that Eskom and the government cannot say when exactly load-shedding will end, but have called on South Africans to be patient with them.
The country gets regular updates, excuses as to what is to blame, yesterday it was the Cyclone that hit Mozambique and today it is lack of 37 years of maintenance. Corruption, theft and mismanagement of funds are always the roots of all our problems.
The national power utility has been implemented for the last five days, and Gordhan says the public will be provided with an update on the situation in the next 10-14 days.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Gordhan and Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza briefed the public about the ongoing issues at the embattled state-owned entity.
“At this point in time, we are still getting a better grasp of the technical problems,” Gordhan said.
“We want to see how all of us can work together to solve tis problem. We want to work with municipalities.
“We will communicate better with the South African public. Frankly and more regularly. We need to say more than just that to South African public.”
The main issue with the power grid is lack of maintenance on power stations that are on average 37 years of age, and are starting to break down.
Mabuza said the problems Eskom face are structural, financial and operational, while the current clean-up operation was a consequence of people stealing money.
“I see Eskom in 2 streams: the routine stream, the process you need to follow to make things work. Then there is a crisis stream. That crisis would need a crisis reaction methodology. We need time, we need speed to get equipment and people. And you need money,” Mabuza said.
“You have not for the last 5 years done maintenance. This equipment has worn, has torn. There is no other answer but fixing it.
“The processes that are in government are not geared up for the speed that is required. Money intended for plant maintenance was never used for this purpose.
“We don’t have the time, we don’t have the money. The last option is, load shedding.
“It’s important to know that there are still hardworking men and women at Eskom. It’s only through them that we can do these things.”
Meanwhile, Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe said that R50bn has been set aside for maintenance on ageing infrastructure over the next five years.