Eskom warns of loadshedding this week as it reminds poor households to claim free basic electricity

Power utility Eskom has warned that its system is severely constrained again after six generation units tripped on Monday (27 July).

“Today, six generation units suffered trips, while the return to service of three others has been delayed,” it said on Monday evening. “One of the six units that tripped today, at the Majuba power station, has since been returned to services,” it said.

The group said that a generation unit at the Majuba, Tutuka, Hendrina and Duvha power stations tripped.

“The return to service of a generation unit each at the Matla, Kendal and Tutuka power stations have been delayed,” it said.

Eskom said that any additional breakdowns will compromise the group’s ability to supply the country.

“This constrained supply situation may persist for the next few days.”

Free basic electricity

Eskom in KwaZulu-Natal is stepping up its efforts to remind qualifying indigent households to claim their benefit of limited free electricity, as provided by the government’s Free Basic Electricity (FBE) programme.

The FBE is a longstanding initiative that forms part of government’s policy of providing support to the unemployed, low-earning, the destitute and the elderly.

FBE is implemented by Eskom and municipalities through providing a maximum of 50 or 60 kiloWatt hours (kWh) per month of free electricity to support qualifying low income households.

This is an amount of electricity that is considered enough to run basic lighting, provide basic media access, basic ironing, and to boil water using an electric kettle.

General Manager for Eskom in KwaZulu-Natal, Agnes Mlabo, said raising awareness of FBE will help alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 national lockdown on indigent households.

“As Eskom we have come to realise that an unfortunately large number of our indigent households do not exercise their right to claim this benefit which could help cushion the impact of the Covid-19 national lockdown. This is because they are either unaware of the free basic electricity or because they have not registered for it with their municipalities,” Mlambo said in a statement on Monday.

Mlambo encouraged low income households to approach their municipalities to register as indigent, in order to collect their allocated free basic electricity every month.

“Customers who qualify for FBE but who are not currently collecting it, must approach their municipalities and register to receive their free allocation. Once registered with the municipality, the customer’s details are loaded on the Eskom system where they get credited with free electricity tokens every month,” Mlambo explained.

She also emphasised that the free token must be used for the month on which it is issued, as it expires.

Mlambo added that when the free token has been used up, you will then need to buy additional units.

Read: How to work from home without raising your electricity bill, according to Eskom

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Eskom warns of loadshedding this week as it reminds poor households to claim free basic electricity