David Mabuza, vice president, says the government is assisting Eskom to preserve energy security

The government, according to deputy president David Mabuza, is doing all possible to help Eskom in its efforts to stabilise the national system and provide energy security.

On Thursday afternoon, the Deputy President took questions from the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The Political Task Team on Eskom, which was created to bring the government’s key stakeholders together to give political leadership in the settlement of the issues plaguing the power provider, is chaired by the Deputy President.

The Deputy President said that since its formation, the task force has accomplished a number of significant milestones, including:

  • facilitating and encouraging improved collaboration between Eskom and several government agencies
  • ensuring the energy producer has a trustworthy and open maintenance programme
  • accelerating the purchase of extra energy
    dealing with Eskom’s financial issues
  • accelerating government decisions regarding bid window 5

In order to provide the grid with an extra 1000MW of base load capacity to solve the load shedding issue, the political task force was also tasked with widening the rectification of plant flaws at the Medupi and Kusile power plants, he added.

Even while steps have been done to help Eskom keep the lights on, the Deputy President admitted that there are still some obstacles to overcome.

The limitations of the aged fleet and inability to meet the needs of unanticipated maintenance and repairs are the key issues. Inevitably, low energy availability has been brought on by insufficient energy capacity.

According to Deputy President Mabuza, “this resulted in the prolonged power outages in the month of July, which attracted public outrage and that prompted the urgent dedicated Cabinet discussion on further extraordinary measures to immediately put a stop to what was turning into a perennial national electricity supply challenge.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National Energy Action Plan to achieve energy security after the meeting.

The National Energy Crisis Committee (NECOM), which consists of numerous departments, is part of the response plan.

The job of the Political Task Team on Eskom has now been transferred to NECOM, according to Deputy President Mabuza.

Unlocking policy and implementation bottlenecks, streamlining decision-making procedures, and getting rid of any red tape difficulties are [NECOM’s] top urgent priorities, he added.

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