Pravin Gordhan explains Eskom’s ‘winter plan’ to the nation on 'The Money Show'

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan briefs the media. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

Eskom is aiming to put an end to load-shedding but it will take hard work and a bit of time, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.

If the utility fails to avoid load shedding; the aim is to limit it to “stage one”.

Gordhan announced a “winter plan” at a briefing to give an update on the power grid and plans to stabilise the electricity supply.

The winter plan commences on 1 May.

The minister also cautioned against using the Eskom crisis to garner votes in the upcoming elections.

The Democratic Alliance has made its plan to solve Eskom’s crisis a central theme of its election campaign.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Gordhan.

He also asked James Brent Styan (Author of "Blackout: The Eskom Crisis) for comment.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for quotes from it).

Over the next five months, we hope there will be no load shedding… by the end of the year, we’ll have a much more stable environment…

Pravin Gordhan, Public Enterprises Minister

A crucial part is the public using electricity more efficiently. Cutting down on swimming pool pumps, switching geysers off, using the correct lighting… It will give us quite a bit more megawatts to work with. On Saturday during Earth Hour, we saved 554 megawatts… Which means there’s a lot of room for improvement…

Pravin Gordhan, Public Enterprises Minister

Even with level four load shedding, we were still able to sustain 80% of supply…

Pravin Gordhan, Public Enterprises Minister

There are at least four or five power stations – which included Koeberg - that are top notch… with productivity that is very high… Then, of course, there are the laggards…

Pravin Gordhan, Public Enterprises Minister

We have to look into what role renewables can play… An increase in the renewable stock, particularly with the lower prices coming through, can make a huge difference in the longer term…

Pravin Gordhan, Public Enterprises Minister

They’re hoping it holds, until at least the election…. They’re kicking the can down the road… Hoping they’ve bought enough diesel to last until 8 May…

James Brent Styan

I remain very concerned about the management at Eskom… They didn’t mention municipal debt. We’re sitting with municipalities that owe R17 billion. Soweto by itself owes another R17 billion… Eskom [employs] massively too many people… Eskom is heading for a loss… of R30 billion! I am astounded by the financial challenges at Eskom…

James Brent Styan

We’ve had 9-point plans, we’ve had 6-point plans… I don’t know who is in charge!

James Brent Styan

The unions have threatened with industrial action… Boom! Stage-4 is back.

James Brent Styan

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