Work is underway to ensure that South Africa’s troubled power utility, Eskom, complies with its responsibility of maintaining power plants in the country, Deputy President David Mabuza told the chiefs parliament.
Mabuza, responding to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces (Chiefs’ parliament) in Cape Town on Thursday, 7 November 2019, said there was need for a mid-life refurbishment of power stations to ensure that they met their life expectancy.
The deputy president had been asked what critical asset maintenance strategies Eskom had put in place to ensure that there was adequate grid reliability for viable electricity supply and asset lifetime.
Mabuza said it was concerning that Eskom’s fleet performance had since deteriorated due to lack of maintenance and refurbishment over the years, greatly compromising the security of electricity supply.
The situation was also worsened by coal shortages and the supply of substandard coal to Eskom, among other things, he said, adding that currently the generation capacity of coal-powered power stations stood at the maximum available power of 36 221 megawatts.
Mabuza said while Eskom had a responsibility to conduct maintenance of its grid assets according to published standards that were benchmarked with international best practices, there had been weaknesses in terms of adherence to published standards.
“As government we are working very hard to ensure that Eskom reverts to the compliance with these published standards.
“Critical areas that need work have been identified and are being funded and resourced,” the deputy president told the traditional leaders in the House.