A team of German technical experts landed at the airport in Johannesburg on Thursday to provide essential services to local German companies, as well as to Eskom.
Two of the specialists will work exclusively for 40 days at Eskom’s Drakensberg pump storage scheme between the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, Eskom said when contacted. The experts must oversee a specialized installation by a contractor at the scheme, as required for quality and warranty purposes, an Eskom media spokesperson explained.
The Drakensberg pump storage scheme can generate a maximum of about 1 000 MW and was completed in 1981. Together with other pumped storage schemes such as Eskom’s new Ingula scheme of 1 332 MW completed in 2017, it plays a crucial role in Eskom’s management of the national power grid, especially to avoid or reduce load shedding.The other German experts will work for German companies based in South Africa.
The initiative stems from cooperation between Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, and Heiko Maas, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, with the assistance of the German airline Lufthansa, the German Embassy, and the South African-German Chamber of Commerce. Industry.
With the systematic relaxation of the Covid-19 restriction, many companies have resumed operations and as they prepare for further expansion, they need critical maintenance or major overhauls, said Steffen Scholtz, spokesman for the German embassy in South Africa. Many of these projects require special expertise that is not available in South Africa, Scholtz explained.
A special flight from Lufthansa dropped off the technical experts at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg on Thursday morning after a night flight from Frankfurt in Germany.
The engineers, technicians and other experts were invited here by German companies in South Africa because their scarce skills are not readily available locally.
According to Martin Schäfer, German ambassador to South Africa, Pandor, as well as Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, and their departments helped make the project possible.
Some of the best-known German companies with operations in South Africa include Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Siemens, Bayer, SAP, BASF, DHL and MTU.