Load shedding on leave until mid January

Power utility Eskom says that the risk of load shedding will be low from Thursday (13 December), through to 13 January 2019.

The group has not implemented load shedding for four consecutive days due to less strain on the national grid, with today marking the time period when most businesses and industries start closing shop for the holiday period.

However, Eskom has warned that the power grid is not without risk, with the possibility of heavy rain over the December to March period still a concern.

“Heavy rains could impact coal handling and feeding to the boilers with a potential impact on general production,” the group said.

“While we do not anticipate load shedding, we continue to warn customers that as the system remains vulnerable, any shift could increase the probability of load shedding.”

Eskom said it will communicate any changes.

With load shedding effectively on leave for the next month, Eskom did warn that local power outages unrelated to rolling blackouts could still occur.

These outages could be due to technical faults on the distribution network, it said, and it encouraged consumers to report these when they happen.

Plan of action

As part of its bid to keep the lights on over the holidays, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said that leave for managers was cancelled, and it would be all hands on deck over the period.

During December, Eskom will intensify its maintenance activities to boost generation capacity for when businesses return in the new year.

“Steady progress has been made with regards to fixing stockpiles. Thirty five new coal contracts have been concluded….and in preparation for continuous rains, three days of compacted strategic stockpiles have been created at all power stations,” it said.

Read: Load shedding worse than before: Eskom

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Load shedding on leave until mid January