More than half of Eskom’s power stations are still running low on fuel. According to the utility’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe, 10 of Eskom’s 15 baseload stations throughout the country have less than three weeks of coal left.
Phasiwe told Bloomberg on Tuesday that stock levels remained low because they were not being replenished fast enough.
The utility said it is being serviced by companies that are under business rescue and as such has blamed them for not meeting their contractual output.
Some of the affected plants – Hendrina, Komati and Majuba – are supplied by mines owned by Tegeta Exploration and Resources Ltd, a company linked to members of the politically connected Gupta family’s Oakbay Investments Ltd Bloomberg reported.
“Eskom is confident that new contracts will be in place within this month so that we can start the process of rebuilding the coal stock levels,” Phasiwe added.
Thousands left in darkness
Meanwhile the utility has also been battling incidents of cable theft which left thousands of Soweto residents in darkness this week.
The utility has called on residents to report any suspicious activities in and around electricity substations.
Commenting on the cable theft Phasiwe noted that it was residents who are most affected by the cable theft.
“In some areas, you have businesses, clinics, [and] hospitals and some of those facilities cannot operate without adequate electricity. Clearly, all of these things are a big problem and in addition to all of this, there’s a big financial burden on Eskom,” Phasiwe told Eye Witness News.