South Africa power cuts expected to ease in 10 days: Eskom CEO

A dark passage during a power outage in a Johannesburg shopping centre, Thursday, June 30, 2022. South Africans are struggling in the dark to cope with increased power cuts that have hit households and businesses across the country. The rolling power cuts have been experienced for years but this week the country’s state-owned power utility Eskom extended them so that some residents and businesses have gone without power for more than 9 hours a day. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
An Eskom sign stands outside the headquarters for Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., South Africas state-owned electricity utility at Megawatt Park in Sandton, near Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. A plan to reform state-owned power company Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and bring South Africa and its economy out of the dark is starting to show results, according to Chief Executive Officer Brian Molefe. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Power cuts in South Africa  are expected to start easing within the next 10 days as the country’s power utility firm expects big generation units to come back online.

Speaking to local media, Eskom chief executive officer Andre de Ruyter, said the state utility ramped up power rationing to 4,000 megawatts from 6pm on Tuesday until further notice, due to generation trips at its Kendal and Lethabo plants that has led to a record 120 days of blackouts so far in 2022.

“We are doing everything possible to add megawatts to the grid,” De Ruyter told Johannesburg-based Radio Sonder Grense.

“We have started buying power from Zambia, and we are looking at Mozambique and the private sector to add megawatts,” he added.

According to the Eskom boss, the private sector has a total of 6,000 megawatts of new renewable projects in the pipeline.

Those projects were targeted, after South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in July said companies will be allowed to build power plants of any size without a licence to meet their own needs and to sell it to the grid.

According to De Ruyter, it will probably take another 18 to 24 months for that capacity to come onto the network.