Eskom said that it had no choice but to continue with rolling blackouts because it could not compromise the maintenance of its aging fleet of power stations.
The power utility presented the state of its system at a briefing from Megawatt Park on Monday afternoon.
It said that planned maintenance was satisfactory between 2010 and 2014 but poor between 2018 and 2020.
Eskom executives said that they agreed that the ongoing power cuts were unacceptable but they did not want to plunge the power utility back to where it was at the height of load shedding.
COO Jan Oberholzer said that there was always a risk of 50% unplanned outages and only maintenance could prevent that.
READ MORE: Load Shedding No power stations running low on coal, says Eskom CEO De Ruyter
“If you take Khusile and Medupi out of the equation, the average age of the coal-fired
power stations are in excess of 40-years-old, so if you don’t maintain it and you run it in
the red all the time, then it is very clear why you find yourself where we find ourselves at
this point in time.”
Oberholzer said that it was important to ensure the reliability of the old fleet and to improve the performance of new stations.
He said that that would reduce uncertainty.