Eskom has warned of a high risk of load shedding on Thursday, due to a shortage of capacity from the group’s generating units.
If load shedding is implemented, it would be between 17h00 and 23h00, the power utility said, but it stressed that it would only be done if absolutely necessary.
“The winter plan shared on 3 April 2019 indicated that Eskom expects to implement 26 days of stage 1 load shedding during the winter period, depending on the level of unplanned breakdowns.
“Based on this plan, we have successfully managed to go through 5 days without load shedding, where stage 1 load shedding would have been implemented,” it siad.
The utility urged South Africans and businesses to use electricity smartly and sparingly, and try to save up 500MW.
“Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand,” it said.
According to the winter plan for the first week in April, three days were significantly tight with high risk of load shedding, Eskom said.
“The first few days in April have given reassurance of the integrity of our plan as we managed to avoid load shedding on three days where it was forecasted due to good performance of our plant. We managed to go through periods of high demand in the evening peak without using a lot of diesel,” it said.
Over the next two months, Eskom said it expects additional power from generation units that were out for planned maintenance which is currently at about 6,000 MW and will ramp down to about 2,000 MW towards highest demand period in May.
Two units that were on long-term outages at Kriel and Matla (1,050 MW) will also be returned to service, Eskom said.
Kusile 3 is also expected to synchronise to the grid for the first time towards the end of April. Imports from Cahora Bassa are expected to be back at full load, the company added.