Eskom's chief executive, Brian Molefe. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Cape Town - Eskom has secured R72.4 billion ($5 billion) to build planned power plants, the utility's acting chief executive said on Friday.

“We are not too concerned about our ability to borrow in the markets.

“We will be able to fund the capital programme as well as our operational expenditure,” Brian Molefe told reporters.

Molefe also said that the benefits of adding more nuclear power in South Africa will outweigh the cost implications.

In the midst of it worst electricity shortage crisis since 2008, South Africa plans to add 9 600 megawatts of nuclear power in the next decade and a half, estimated by analysts to cost as much as $100 billion.

"My instinct, and looking at Koeberg for example, is that it is likely that the future benefits will far outweigh the costs of building now," Molefe said.

Koeberg nuclear power plant is the African continent's sole atomic plant, managed by Eskom.

Earlier on Friday, Eskom said it expects the first 800 megawatts of power from its coal-fired power station, Kusile, to come online from August 2017.

Besides Kusile, Eskom said in a statement that the next major milestone was the synchronisation of Unit 3 of the Ingula power station early next year, as the country aims to overcome chronic power shortages.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said South Africa was not “out of the woods” yet, despite having had 25 days without power cuts.

Reuters