The Head of Project Management in the Presidency, Rudi Dicks, has urged Eskom to substantially increase its diesel budget as the power utility prepares for the new financial year beginning in April. This call comes after Eskom exceeded its annual diesel budget within eight months amidst deteriorating load shedding, leading to a financial crisis that has prompted the power utility to urgently procure more diesel stocks to ease power cuts.
Eskom relies on open-cycle gas turbines powered by diesel to prevent further load shedding. The initial budget for the 2022/2023 financial year was R6 billion, which was quickly depleted, resulting in Eskom spending twice the allocated amount.
The government is currently scrambling to cover the power utility’s diesel expenses, while Dicks has cautioned Eskom against a repeat of the same situation in the upcoming financial year. Recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced plans to appoint a Minister of Electricity to identify viable solutions for the country’s energy crisis.