Eskom says there is no load shedding expected in September or October.
In response to a DA statement which indicated that power outages might be on the cards in the coming months, the power utility said that it has not communicated this information to any of its stakeholders and that its system was still running according to plan.
“Eskom communicated its summer plan on the 4th September 2019 at a media briefing held at Megawatt Park, where we indicated that while no load shedding is expected over summer the risk, however, remains as the system is still tight and vulnerable, as we ramp up plant maintenance,” it said.
“Following a statement by the Democratic Alliance’s regarding possible load shedding, Eskom’s acting group chief executive Jabu Mabuza is open to discuss details with Ms Mazzone.
“Eskom continues to encourage residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly. Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.”
Eskom said that it will keep customers informed if there are any changes to the system.
At the end of August 2019, the power utility said that an acceleration in economic growth in South Africa could trigger power cuts.
The energy availability of Eskom’s generation fleet is supposed to be as high as 80%, but is currently as low as 69%, and even a 0.1% rise in gross domestic product could result in outages, Nelisiwe Magubane, an Eskom board member said.
The state-owned utility, which supplies about 95% of South Africa’s power, has a mountain of debt and is reliant on government bailouts to remain solvent.
It is also contending with operational issues – most of its power stations are nearing retirement age and haven’t been properly maintained, while the construction of two new plants are running years behind schedule and way over budget.