Amid a worsening energy crisis, the Presidency on Sunday announced the appointment of Silas Mzingeli Zimu as Special Advisor on Energy to President Jacob Zuma. Eskom
An electrical engineer by qualifications and training, Zimu joins the Presidency from the private sector and brings extensive experience in both business and strategic management in energy, the Presidency said.
Zimu has previously served at the national electricity utility Eskom as an engineer and different management positions; and at Johannesburg City Power as Managing Director.
“We welcome Mr Zimu to the Presidency and we are certain that his considerable experience and expertise in matters of energy will greatly contribute to the work being done to mitigate and resolve the energy challenge,” said Director-General in the Presidency Cassius Lubisi.
The announcement came as the country has been hit by rolling blackouts since November last year.
On Sunday, Eskom implemented stage-two load shedding in some areas due to high demand and maintenance being performed at some power stations.
Eskom has three stages for load shedding. Stage one allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be shed once a day. If the pressure grows, stage two for up to 2000MW or stage three for up to 4000MW would be shed. At stage two, power goes off twice a day, while at stage three, electricity could be cut two or three times a day.
As the country’s major electricity supplier, Eskom implements load shedding as a last resort to protect the national system from a total blackout which would have significant impact on the economic development in the country.
South Africa has suffered from power insufficiency since 2008. Power cuts, which have cost the economy an estimated 300 billion rand (about 26 billion U.S. dollars) since 2008, have again become commonplace since November last year when two coal-burning major power stations broke down.
Eskom is now burning diesel to the value of 1 billion rand (about 90 million U.S. dollars) a month to keep the lights on. Enditem


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