Paula Luckhoff15 May 2024 | 18:40

A winter with no load shedding is within reach, says Electricity Minister

Bruce Whitfield interviews Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister of Electricity.

A winter with no load shedding is within reach, says Electricity Minister

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. Picture: @GovernmentZA/X

49 days without loadshedding and counting...

Any South African would be happy with this continuing indefinitely, but from bitter experience with government promises we tend to be skeptical about hoping too much.

Last week on The Money Show, chairperson Mteto Nyati added his voice to assertions that the improvement in power supply is absolutely not an election ploy.

Nyati gave assurances that actions taken by Eskom over the past year or so are based on fundamental repair work and maintenance.

RELATED: Eskom chair explains how they are REALLY keeping the lights on (and it's not what de Ruyter said)

Bruce Whitfield interviews Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa to find out about his confidence levels as we head into winter.

While he cannot guarantee that power cuts are a thing of the past the Minister says, they are seeing a 'positive trendline' in the reduction of loadshedding.

"And I have said this on many occasions in public... I think once we have significantly more additional generation capacity outside the Eskom fleet, then we can speak confidently of loadshedding being fully behind us."
"If you look at the period from May last year to where we are this year, we've added an additional I think 6 000 megawatts, and that you measure from the amount of failures of the generating units... sitting at 18 000MW. Now, we are at 11 000."
Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister of Electricity

While Eskom is making 'tremendous progress' Ramokgopa emphasizes, they still need significantly more new generation capacity. 

What is painting a positive picture into the future he says, is the combination of improvement on the generation side and the reduction in demand.

"On the demand side we see an acceleration in rooftop solar solution by both industry and households off the back of the incentive provided by National Treasury."
Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister of Electricity

The best case scenario for the coming winter is on the assumption that failures stand at 14 000MW.

Over the past two months, these failures have been at an even lower number with 13 000MW.

If the trend continues, says the Minister, that best case scenario of no winter loadshedding is within reach.

The second-best scenario would be losses of 14 000MG plus 1 500MW, which would bring South Africa Stage 2 power cuts. 

"We are confident that towards the end of the year, with new generation capacity we can speak with some degree of confidence about putting loadshedding behind us."
Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister of Electricity

Scroll up to listen to the interview with the Minister