Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says plans to resume maintenance of individual power-generating plants ‘as per the manufacturer’s requirements’ will increase the likelihood of load-shedding.

De Ruyter told a media briefing on Friday that the power utility was facing unprecedented levels of breakdowns and could not defer scheduled maintenance, according to Fin24.

This was regrettable, but ‘unavoidable’.

The high level of breakdowns had meant the maintenance usually carried out over the December holidays had not taken place.

‘Now we have to reverse [our] original maintenance philosophy,’ he said. ‘This will cause us to have an increased probability of load-shedding in the medium-term.’

Fin24 reported that, since September 2019, Eskom had implemented 21 days of load-shedding. The current stage 2 load-shedding was set to continue until 6am tomorrow.

De Ruyter also announced that Eskom could finalise as soon as next week the appointment of boards to run the utility’s unbundled generation, transmission and distribution divisions.