Sunday Times has reported that South Africans should expect to see power cuts once again as soon as the lockdown is lifted in May which will span until August 2021.
Eskom’s head of power generation Bheki Nxumalo told the Sunday Times that power cuts would “most likely” resume once the national lockdown is lifted in May.
According to energy analysts who were quoted in the report, the lockdown only reduced the pressure on Eskom which should have given the power utility the chance to make repairs but they could only low-level and routine repairs. Eskom was not able to procure parts that are needed for the maintenance such as turbines and control systems due to global restrictions on production and trade.
“The global lockdowns have also prevented Eskom from bringing in specialised engineers to work on the equipment,” stated the report.
Eskom confirmed that it has not been able to conduct the “deep-cycle maintenance” which needs to take place. This maintenance will only start after the lockdown is over, and is expected to run until August 2021.
“The maintenance needed is the kind where massive boiler and turbine components are replaced, especially at Kusile and Medupi power stations,” said Eskom.
“Only when the design defects at the Medupi and Kusile power stations have been corrected are we most likely to see the end of load-shedding.”