The risk of loadshedding will increase if the economy grows – Eskom

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One would think that a better economic climate would be good for all South Africans but Eskom has issued a rather bizarre warning.

Speaking at an event this week, Eskom board member Nelisiwe Magubane told Bloomberg News that even a 0.1 percent rise in the gross domestic product of South Africa could trigger loadshedding.

The reason comes down to capacity. At present generating capacity is as low as 69 percent when it should be as high as 80 percent.

This lack of capacity comes down to a lack of maintenance at aging power stations as well as ever mounting debt.

Independent energy advisor Mike Rossouw said that part of the reason that loadshedding has disappeared is that demand has been lower but, if demand rises, we could find ourselves battling with loadshedding schedules once again.

While Eskom has managed to get through Winter without implementing loadshedding as we approach the warmer months that could change.

While folks may not be using heaters and other power hungry appliances to keep warm in Winter, Summer sees temperatures climb and Eskom’s power generating boilers cannot always operate at full capacity.

As such, if we have a warm Summer and the economy strengthens we could see loadshedding return.

Of course, if Eskom has been maintaining its infrastructure as minister of public enterprises, Pravin Gordhan said it would back in March, we might not be starring down the barrel of more loadshedding.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.