The end of load shedding is in sight, says Ramokgopa as Eskom hits highest Energy Availability Factor in three years

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said. Picture: Facebook page.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said. Picture: Facebook page.

Published May 2, 2024


Minister of Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said on Wednesday that the tide has turned for South Africa and the energy crisis and the end of load shedding was now in sight.

Ramokgopa said on social media that Eskom’s achievement of an Energy Availability Factor (EAF) of 65.5%, last attained in 2021, confirms the success of the aggressive maintenance-led recovery strategy, despite its inherent risks.

“We have indeed turned the corner, the ending of loadshedding is within touching distance,” he said.

The minister said on Worker’s Day that government has reached a significant milestone in putting an end to load shedding and resolving the energy deficit affecting the state.

“This milestone validates the viability of the Eskom fleet of generation units and signifies the most efficient path to ending load shedding,” Ramokgopa said.

Eskom board chairperson Mteto Nyati also praised the EAF percentage and added that the board has set higher targets in the coming year.

The board has set an EAF target of 70% for April 2025, Nyati said on X.

What is the next step for the Ministry?

The minister said that government will now focus on maintaining and enhancing the Eskom’s performance and successes.

Ramokgopa said that the return of Medupi Unit 4 with 800 megawatts, Koeberg Unit 2 (980MW) and the synchronisation of Kusile Unit 6 (800MW), a total of 2580 MW in the next 6 months, will be a welcomed addition to generation capacity.

Load shedding

South Africans can breathe a sigh of relief, according to the minister as these improvements and new capacity means that the country has “breached peak loadshedding”.

The minister also said that the state had incentivised rooftop solar rollout, and this is on-track to reach an installed capacity of 6000MW by the end of 2024. He said that this is an indispensable part of the energy calculus for South Africa.

“Government induced, through a suite of thoroughgoing reforms, private sector sponsored new generation capacity is critical to the attainment of energy sovereignty,” he added.

200 days more of load shedding

Last week, the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) warned residents and business that they can expect around 200 days of load shedding in 2024.

This was revealed in the Monetary Policy Review for April.

South Africans can expect to see a decrease in load shedding over the next three years, according to the Sarb.

The Sarb projects load-shedding to shave 0.6, 0.2 and 0.04 percentage points from growth in 2024, 2025 and 2026 respectively.

This is lower than the 0.8 and 0.4 percentage points for 2024 and 2025 respectively that was said by the bank back in October 2023.

Eskom has forecast Stage 2 load shedding for winter.