Cape Town – Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has reportedly denied that the power grid was about to collapse and cause a total blackout.
Ramokgopa said the grid was protected.
He said this while addressing a question and answer session of the Ministers in the Economic Cluster in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.
With winter on the way, there were fears the colder weather could push the national grid over the edge.
But the minister said there were reserved margins that were meant to protect the grid and these would not be used at any time.
“There is what you call a ‘Reserve margin’. It is 2 200 megawatts that are kept at every given time by the system operator in Gauteng. We are highly unlikely to have a grid collapse – a blackout, because of that 2 200 reserve margin,” East Coast Radio quoted Ramokgopa as saying.
Eskom is currently implementing stage 6 load shedding until further notice.
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According to IOL, Ramokgopa said even if President Cyril Ramaphosa asked for the reserved margins to be used to reduce stages of load shedding, the system operator would not take that instruction because his job was to protect the national grid.
Ramokgopa said in the context of the crisis of energy, all efforts were made to ensure the economy survived by keeping the lights on.
Last week, the minister indicated that he had accelerated the process of returning the Medupi power station to service in efforts to combat large bouts of higher load shedding stages.
Ramokgopa said on Friday that Eskom was implementing interventions that would speed up the repairs to Unit 4 at the Medupi power station – the country’s largest power plant.
Medupi will be the fourth largest coal power station in the world when operational, with each of its six units producing 720MW and mitigating four stages of load shedding.
“We are working very closely to return Unit 4 in Medupi that was taken off-line in August 2021,” Ramokgopa said.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu