Eskom’s Western Cape Operating Unit Manager Alwi Lester says the parastatal has realized that regular and efficient maintenance is necessary to provide power to South Africans without any interruptions to their quality of life.
Speaking on VOC’s Breakfast Beat, Lester said that in the short term the power utility would look into establishing more frequent maintenance endeavours.
“The philosophy within Eskom right now is that these power plants need to be maintained in a different manner, more sustainably, so you can get a longer life out of them. Another reason for this is that we won’t cause a severe economic impact in the longer term.”
Lester said for the next three months, before the unit at Medupi Power Station that is currently down for maintenance comes back onto the power grid, consumers can expect load shedding as Eskom initiates maintenance across the country.
“There is a lot of maintenance we have planned for January, February and March. The fact that the first unit at Medupi comes on in June, that gives us some security after that month. We have had a lot of deferred maintenance over the last few years, but we are now trying to ensure that that maintenance now actually gets taken care of,” Lester explained.
Repeating Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona’s analogy of a car being driven in poor condition, the Medupi power station will first be tested out before going online.
“It’s only in June that we’ll be starting to generate energy from there, just like a car that you start up and test, we’ll be doing the same at Medupi. All of that testing will take place from now until June, when it goes online.” VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)