Low risk of load shedding: Eskom

DECEMBER 12, 2014

Although the power system is expected to be tight over the next few days, the risk of load shedding is low due to increased plant availability, says Eskom.

“The system is expected to be tight for the next few days. However, the risk of load shedding is low. This is due to the increase in plant availability as a number of units that were on maintenance have been returned to service since Monday,” said Eskom in its system status bulletin on Thursday.

The power utility called on South Africans to use electricity sparingly.

“Consumers can help alleviate pressure from the system by reducing their electricity usage as much as they can,” said the utility.

At the last post Cabinet briefing of the year on Thursday, Minister in Presidency for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, said Cabinet was concerned over the disruptive effect the recent power outages were having on the daily lives of South Africans and its impact on households and businesses across the country.

Minister Radebe said a war room has been set up with immediate effect to oversee the implementation of a five-point plan to address the electricity challenges facing the country.

This comes as South Africans had experienced weeks of load shedding incidents.

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the war room would be made up of the Departments of Energy, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Public Enterprises, National Treasury, Economic Development, Water and Sanitation and Eskom, as well as technical officials.

She said the war room would be housed at Eskom to ensure the optimal coordination of all parties.

Five-point plan

Minister Radebe said the five-point plan would address the strain the electricity system faces.

The plan covers:

- the interventions that Eskom will undertake in the next 30 days;

- harnessing cogeneration opportunities through the extension of existing contracts with the private sector;

- accelerating the programme for substitution of diesel with gas to fire up the diesel power plants;

- launching a coal independent power producer programme; and

- managing demand through specific interventions within residential dwellings, public and commercial buildings and municipalities through retrofitting energy efficient technologies. - SAnews.gov.za