×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

15,000 Western Cape residents still without power after floods: Ramokgopa

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa gave an update on the implementation of the energy action plan on Tuesday.
Kgosientsho Ramokgopa gave an update on the implementation of the energy action plan on Tuesday.
Image: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS/Handout via Reuters

Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says only 15,000 of the more than 82,000 people disconnected in the Western Cape as a result of the recent floods in the province are yet to be reconnected to the grid.

Ramokgopa revealed this on Tuesday in Pretoria during his weekly updates on the implementation of the energy action plan.

The briefings are usually held over the weekend, but this one was one was moved to Tuesday due to Sunday being a public holiday.

The minister used the briefing to provide an update of capacity available in the past week and how this contributed to lower stages of load-shedding.

Last week the country alternated between no load-shedding and stage 3 power cuts from Monday as a result of "improved available generation capacity" and a reduction in the breakdown of generation capacity.

South Africans then enjoyed a brief respite over the long weekend when load-shedding was initially suspended until Tuesday morning at 5am.

This changed on Monday, however, when Eskom announced that due to the failure of three generating unit it was "unable to replenish the pumped storage dam levels sufficiently for the week ahead", and therefore would implement stage 3 load-shedding until further notice.

"Just going on the week that was, the period from September 18-22, we have seen that really the capacity available is beginning to improve. There's been a healthy improvement there. On average, it reached about 29,664MW over that period.

"And we have seen that it peaked on September 19 when we were able to breach the 30,000MW. And like I said the last time, this is on the back of some of the units that were on planned maintenance returning, and we have seen that there is some level of improvement on the capacity available," he said.

Ramokgopa also used the briefing to speak on the disconnection of thousands of customers in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape as a result of the floods. Homes were left flooded and infrastructure was damaged as a result of severe weather in the two provinces over the past weekend.

We had over 82,000 customers that were disconnected as a result of the inclement weather in the Western Cape and I'm happy to indicate that as we speak, the latest [indication] I've been given is that 67,000 of those customers have been reconnected and only 15,000 are remaining to be connected
Electricity minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa

He confirmed that the stormy weather had affected Eskom's Palmiet pumping station, which was one of the causes of the return of stage 3 on Monday.

Eskom on Monday confirmed that load-shedding would be suspended in the coastal areas in those two provinces due to the "widespread damage to electricity infrastructure caused by flooding".

This would be to "ensure that the technical teams restore the supply of electricity safely".

Giving an update on this, Ramokgopa confirmed that Eskom was able to reduce the number of those still disconnected from the grid significantly since the floods started.

"We had over 82,000 customers that were disconnected as a result of the inclement weather in the Western Cape and I'm happy to indicate that as we speak, the latest [indication] I've been given is that 67,000 of those customers have been reconnected and only 15,000 are remaining to be connected.

"So Eskom is doing everything possible of course, working with the municipalities and the whole of government, to ensure that in addition to issues of emergency relief and saving lives and [alleviating] property, we are able to connect people back into the grid," he said.

The minister also gave an update on Eskom's continued planned maintenance, which saw the country plunged to stage 6 load-shedding during the earlier weeks of September. He said this averaged 4,555MW over the past week but was ramped up to over 5,000MW from September 21.

Ramokgopa also provided feedback on the transmission financing seminar held last week at the JSE, while Eskom's head of generation Bheki Nxumalo, who was also present at the briefing, reiterated the plan to rely on the return of units at troubled Kusile power station to maintain the lower stages of load-shedding amid the ongoing maintenance.

"We've got no intention that the stages should increase as [the units at] Kusile return."

TimesLIVE


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.