Power system constrained but expect a blackouts-free weekend: Eskom

JANUARY 23, 2015

While the power system remains constrained there should be no load-shedding if there are no faults in the system, power utility Eskom said.

“The power system remains constrained this week and will remain so for the rest of this summer. Any extra load or faults in the system may necessitate the need to go into load shedding.

“It remains important for all customers in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors to maintain or achieve 10% electricity savings,” the utility said on Thursday.

In its update on the state of the power system, Eskom called on South Africans to pull together and use electricity sparingly.

Last week at a media briefing, the utility said that with the increase in electricity demand load shedding remains a reality for the country.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona said the country had just about exhausted the electricity reserve margin and any slight pressure might trigger power cuts.

“The system will remain tight in summer. Risks of extreme weather related outages such as wet coal, unplanned outage extensions and unavailability of primary energy may worsen the situation. Therefore, the country needs to be prepared for load shedding,” he said at the time.

Referring to load shedding as “painful”, Matona said it was a necessary decision to protect the electricity power system from total blackout.

“A total blackout would have significant consequences on the South African economy,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za