Electricity generation improving with return of Kusile units

Due to the return to service of Kusile Unit 3, the sustained improved generation performance and the lower than anticipated demand for electricity, load shedding will be suspended until 16:00 on Monday, when Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented.

Power parastatal, Eskom, on Sunday, said should any significant changes occur, it will communicate.

Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said at a briefing on Sunday that significant progress has been made with regard to electricity generation. Kusile Unit 3 returned to service ahead of schedule, with Ramokgopa saying South Africa was "starting to turn the corner" in terms of electricity provision.

The three units at the Kusile plant were discontinued in October 2022 for maintenance purposes. This strained the national grid and affected Eskom's generating capacity.

Speaking at his weekly media briefing in Pretoria on Sunday, Ramokgopa said they had to discontinue the units to address safety concerns.

“It’s been almost a year that these units have not been operating. Essentially, the South African economy and the grid were losing about 2 400 megawatts of generating capacity… and that contributed to a significant amount of strain that has been experienced on the grid,” Ramokgopa said.

Ramokgopa said Kusile Unit 3 now currently generates 550MW, and that it will take a considerable amount of time to restore normality, with the other units expected to return on-stream in due course.

“I am really excited to say that we will be returning the other units, with 2 400 megawatts,” Ramokgopa said.

This is eventually expected to be bumped up to 3 200MW when Unit 5 is brought back on-stream.

Ramokgopa said he is confident about the work that is currently being done.

Government continues to implement the country’s Energy Action Plan in earnest, with the long-term goal of securing continuous, credible energy supply.

To respond to the severe impact of load shedding on households, small businesses and the economy as a whole, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a range of measures in July 2022 to improve the performance of existing power stations, and add new generation capacity as quickly as possible.

Source: South African Government News Agency