AFRICA: Eskom warns South Africans to brace for more power cuts.

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South Africans have been warned to brace for more frequent power cuts.

Eskom, the utility company that generates about 95 percent of the nation’s electricity says this is because it will no longer delay planned maintenance.

Chief Executive of Eskom, Andre de Ruyter told journalist in Johannesburg that ‘‘we will have to give ourselves the space to fix what needs to be fixed’‘.

South Africa has been battling with an energy deficit since late 2005 because Eskom’s aging plants have failed to keep up with demand.

The government also stalled on giving the company the green light to invest in new capacity.

Eskom has amassed over 50 billion rand or $ 30 billion of debt. The company is not generating enough income to cover its cost, thus leaving it dependent on state bailouts to remain solvent.

The power system is expected to remain vulnerable for 18 months.

Eskom CEO said the company can be fixed, but will require support of the state, that of customers, labour unions and suppliers

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