Gov’t urgently seeking funds so Eskom can buy diesel

Pravin Gordhan

Government said it’s urgently seeking funds to buy diesel that’s needed to fuel some of Eskom’s power plants, after the state electricity utility said outages will intensify this week.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan held a meeting with members of Eskom’s board on Sunday amid “serious concerns” about the risk of increased blackouts in the months ahead, the department of public enterprises, which oversees the utility, said in a statement.

The board members informed Gordhan about the situation at the nation’s power plants, it said.

“The DPE is urgently working with national treasury and Eskom for it to find the money to buy supplies of diesel,” the department said. The government is also “looking for savings” within Eskom’s existing funds for the money as one potential solution, it said.

Read: Stage-5 load shedding – Eskom crisis spirals into the new week

An Eskom spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent by text message.

Read: Eskom has no diesel – and no plan to order any until April

On Sunday, an Eskom spokesman told energy analyst Chris Yellend that the utility has no money to burn diesel in its open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) until the start of its next financial year on 1 April 2023 — and won’t start the OCGTs until then unless it gets the money from somewhere.  — (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP, with additional reporting (c) 2022 NewsCentral Media

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