Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said government was implementing a plan to reduce the breakdown of power plants. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency(ANA).

Lethabo - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday said that the government was implementing a plan to reduce the breakdown of power plants and to stop, or minimise, rotational load shedding to at least Stage 1 as demand for power intensifies during the winter season.

Briefing the media at Lethabo Power Plant in the Free State, Gordhan said that government had now gotten a better understanding of the challenges plaguing the state-owned power utility, Eskom.

"Having committed to report back to South Africa in 10-14 days, we want to offer a better understanding of key challenges and solutions. Our objective now is still to reliably supply electricity to businesses and homes. We have as an aim that we should have no load shedding moving forward," Gordhan said.

"Our objective is to be transparent and frank with South Africans and ensure energy security. We now have a better understanding of the root causes of breakdowns at Eskom power plants, and we are developing a reliable plan and urgent execution to deal with these."

Eskom plunged the country into darkness for 10 days last month from the March 14 after implementing Stage 4 rotational load shedding, meaning 4,000 megawatts was rotationally shed from the national grid, as the power utility suffered 16 boiler tube leaks, depleted diesel stock and loss of imported electricity supply from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique due to Cyclone Idai.

Gordhan said that going forward, Eskom had to adopt a different culture of discipline and doing things with rigour, ensure consequent management and accountability, and ensure effective and regular communication with all stakeholders.

African News Agency (ANA)