Load shedding: No evidence of sabotage – Eskom spokesperson

Load shedding has returned because of plant break downs, and not sabotage, Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe clarified.

Speaking to Fin24 on Monday morning, Phasiwe said that Eskom is working on getting units back online by this evening and that it is far too early to say whether load shedding would continue for the rest of the week.

"The plan is not to have load shedding for the remainder of the week," he said.

The power utility on Sunday introduced load shedding for the first time since December. Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 09:00 to 22:00 on Monday.

In addition to the unit breakdowns, Eskom lost the connection between Mozambique and South Africa, known as the Apollo Line in December as a result of bad weather. The line was then restored.

Phasiwe said he is yet to learn what the reason is for the line going down this time.

Meanwhile, Eskom's management is meeting to get feedback from the various power stations and the system operator on the state of the system.

"There are meetings taking place to address the situation," said Phasiwe.

Phasiwe confirmed that the Department of Public Enterprises, through Minister Pravin Gordhan is also meeting with Eskom's board to address the matter "as soon as possible".

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in the State of the Nation Address that Eskom would be broken up into three entities - generation, transmission and distribution, in an effort to make the power utility operationally and financially sustainable, Fin24 reported.

Eskom has R420bn in debt it has to service, and so far has used R255bn of government's R350bn guarantee.

The president also said that government would be supporting Eskom's balance sheet – the details of what this entails will be revealed when Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers the National Budget on February 20.

Unions however have objected to the unbundling as they believe it would lead to privatisation and ultimately job losses in the generation sector, particularly coal mines.

However Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe has said that the president has committed to not sell key state assets.