Mozambique was hit by a powerful cyclone which knocked out communications and electricity pylons last week. "This is biting us big time", he told journalists gathered in Johannesburg. Eskom, which supplies nearly all the power in the nation, will cut 4 000 megawatts of supply from 9 am until 11 pm on Monday, it said.
Mabuza says Eskom's new plants are tripping due to various problems. The government last month approved a R69-billion bailout over three years to help rescue the utility, which is struggling to emerge from years of mismanagement, allegations of corruption and ballooning debt caused by cost overruns at two large new plants. "If that money was not spent on maintenance the question is what was that money spent on?"
Eskom's operations have reached "crisis level", chairman Jabu Mabuza said.
But this discomfort is something that needed to take place to allow Eskom the time it needed to fix its equipment he said. "At this point in time we are still getting a better grasp of the technical problems and other problems that Eskom power stations are confronting", said Gordhan.
During a briefing from Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan today, South Africans looking for an indication of when load-shedding will end were left disappointed.
As South Africa's primary electricity supplier, Eskom's mandate is to ensure security of supply to South Africans.
Gordhan said that an update on the situation will be provided in the next 10 to 14 days.