Sub-Saharan Africa
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Powerful Progress: South Africa Shines Bright for 100 Days With No Load Shedding

© AP Photo / Denis FarrellState-owned power utility Eskom, coal-powered Duvha power station, near Emalahleni (formerly Witbank) east of Johannesburg
State-owned power utility Eskom, coal-powered Duvha power station, near Emalahleni (formerly Witbank) east of Johannesburg - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 06.07.2024
South Africa's energy situation is progressively improving, according to the state-owned power company Eskom. The country had regular and prolonged blackouts as a preventative measure to avoid a catastrophic failure of the national power infrastructure. Last time, Eskom was able to deliver continuous electricity from September to December 2020.
South Africa has been free of load shedding for 100 days straight, Eskom announced on Friday.
This achievement is due to a recovery plan started in March 2023 and intensive maintenance of Eskom power plants.

“The 100 days milestone includes around a R6.2 billion reduction in OCT [Open cycle gas turbines] diesel expenditure from 1 April 2024 to 30 June 2024,[...] if we maintain our trajectory on reduced diesel spend, it will be a strong driver in a possible return to profit in FY25,” Eskom’s Group Chief Executive Dan Marokane said.

The Minister of Electricity and Energy, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, said this milestone "is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and collaboration of all those involved in the energy sector," as well as the efforts of Eskom's staff.
Despite the success, Eskom warns that the possibility of load shedding continues.

“If we maintain a 70% Energy Availability Factor (EAF) and add significant capacity within the country, we can ensure adequate available capacity to meet demand without a significant risk of load shedding,” the power utility’s Head of Generation, Bheki Nxumalo said.

Last August, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa promised that the country would address its energy issue by 2024.
To that end, the nation has implemented a variety of initiatives, including lowering the licensing barrier to allow private investment in electricity generation, increasing the efficiency of Eskom's power facilities, and promoting and facilitating rooftop solar investment.
Furthermore, Ramokgopa stated in February that the government will begin the procurement of 2,500 MW of nuclear energy, convert diesel OCTs to gas (generating 3,000 MW), and roll out solar photovoltaic with battery storage (4,000 MW).
In addition, the state invested around R400 billion (approximately $21.3 billion) to upgrade 14,000 kilometers of transmission lines across the country.