Power Grid Remains Severely Constrained: Eskom

FEBRUARY 16, 2015

Eskom on Monday again appealed to South Africans to be patient as it struggles to build generating capacity to keep up with electricity demand. It reported while some generators have come back online, the power grid remains severely constrained – and did not rule out load shedding later in the day.

The power utility implemented load shedding at the weekend to build up diesel reserves and raise dam water levels for its gas turbines.

On Sunday, Eskom implemented Stage 2 load shedding and later decreased rolling blackouts to Stage 1.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe has urged customers to continue to use electricity sparingly as the utility works to build more power stations.

“We ask our customers to also assist us in this process. We are going to go through very lean process in a sense that we will not have enough generating capacity for the next two to three years. We’re asking for patience as we build new generating capacity.”

Phasiwe says the power utility’s aging power plants are making it difficult to keep up with the increasing electricity demand.

“As far as the new week is concerned, it’s too early to say at this stage what it will look like but we’re running an old power system which is unreliable and we don’t have enough generating capacity to start with.”

The parastatal says although some of its generating units are back online, it's in no position to assure South Africans that they won't experience rolling blackouts this week.

See the full schedule for Nelson Mandela Bay here.