Watch: 'Eskom is robbing South Africans'

There might be more to loadshedding than meets the eye, claims nuclear energy enthusiast. Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

There might be more to loadshedding than meets the eye, claims nuclear energy enthusiast. Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

Published Oct 11, 2022


Eskom is neglecting its base load and robbing South Africans of 15 000 watts, claimed Princess Mthombeni, a stakeholder relations officer at a state-owned energy company and nuclear energy enthusiast.

The base load is the minimum level of demand on an electrical grid over a span of time.

WATCH: ‘Eskom is robbing South Africans’

@princymthombeni The impact of neglecting baseload power system. #energy #southafricatiktok #loadshedding ♬ original sound - Princy Mthombeni

Mthombeni provided technical advice and coordination for international organisations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), and the World Nuclear University (WNU), among others.

She was invited to speak at the International Schiller Institute Conference, COP26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom; Nuclear Energy Demonstration in Berlin, Germany; 55th Japan Atomic Industrial Forum Conference, Women in Nuclear Global Conference; and Global Nuclear Science & Engineering Commencement, where she shared a stage with Bill Gates.

“According to Eskom, the power demand during peak time is around 32 000 megawatts, whereas its total base load system capacity is approximately 52 000 megawatts.

“To run the base load system, Eskom needs a net reserve margin of about 20%, which is 11 000 megawatts. This means Eskom should have a total of 39 000 megawatts. This points to the fact that they are neglecting the baseload,” said Mthombeni.

She said that when Eskom talks about stage six load shedding, it means they are not just failing to meet a guarantee of 41 000 megawatts but also not giving the country a minimum of 32 000 megawatts.

“They are only giving us 26 000 megawatts. So, Eskom is robbing South Africans of a whopping 15 000 megawatts.”

She added that Eskom is neglecting the base load because it is said the CEO has completely given up on Eskom power generation plants and that Andre de Ruyter has, in few instances, referred to Eskom as a “dead horse”.

“Recently, he was at the Renewable Energy (wind and solar) Summit in Cape Town where he said; if IPPs are not allowed to invest R1.2 trillion in South Africa, the country will go to stage 15 load shedding,” she said.

According to Mthombeni, to remedy the issue of load shedding in the country, support should be given to the power station managers who are running the base load power system (52 000 MW).

Eskom chief executive said last week that load shedding will ease.

“We are doing everything possible to add megawatts to the grid,” he told Radio Sonder Grense (Radio Without Borders).

Eskom revealed plans to buy power in September to secure 1000MW and expand its limited generation capacity.

“Initially, the programmes will focus on generators capable of supplying more than one megawatt to the grid. Over time, the threshold will be lowered to enable smaller producers to participate,” he was quoted saying.

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