Eskom calls power alert; only has funds for diesel until March

JANUARY 28, 2015

South Africa electricity supply is on power alert, Eskom said on Wednesday morning - and the power utility only has funds for diesel until March.

"The power system remains vulnerable, meaning that any extra load or faults in the system may necessitate load shedding on Wednesday," the power utility posted on its Twitter feed.

A further post, minutes later, read: "Eskom calls on consumers to urgently switch off geysers, air conditioners, pool pumps & all non-essential appliances throughout the day".


This alert comes amid new revelations that Eskom has funds for diesel until March prompting fears of a shortage of diesel used to run Eskom turbines.

Cash-strapped Eskom is battling to keep demand from overwhelming its capacity to keep the lights on.

News agency, Reuters, quoted a government official as saying that Eskom will move its own funds around to pay for diesel.

The power utility will receive a new budget for diesel from the government in April.

However, traders in Singapore have reportedly said PetroSA is seeking up to 96 000 tons of diesel for delivery until May. The shipment will arrive ahead of the winter season.

Load shedding this week

On Tuesday, acting CEO Dan Marokane had said Eskom implemented Stage two rolling power cuts on Tuesday to help bolster power supply for the rest of the week.

"We moved to stage two in order to manage our reserves at our pumped storage schemes and gas turbines so that we can better manage the rest of the week," Marokane said in a statement.