No economic impact from power cuts yet

Government has not received any reports that the economy has been affected by power cuts, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Thursday.

Briefing reporters at Parliament on behalf of Cabinet, Molewa said a call had been received from Eskom on Thursday morning concerning the power cuts which started in many parts of the country at 9am.

“For now we haven’t received any information that says there’s any negative impact that will be realised,” Molewa said.

Earlier on Thursday, power was cut to various suburbs in cities and other areas around the country.

Eskom blamed the power cuts on heavy rainfall in Mpumalanga which had left the power utility’s coal stocks wet.

“We expect the rains will subside and as the rain subsides obviously we’ll be back to normal. That’s the timeline we’re more or less expecting to have a return to normality,” Molewa said.

The situation could not be called a crisis at this stage.

“We obviously would be probably having some hitches here and there in households,” she said.

“It’s already been indicated there’s been some load shedding in some poorer areas of Gauteng and Cape Town but it is important to really just make this call [that] if we all save energy as we should it is highly likely that we can save much more so that there isn’t any suffering in terms of the business areas where operations are taking place.”

Cabinet would ask Energy Minister Ben Martins and Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba to keep an eye on the situation.

Meanwhile, power is set to be restored in various suburbs of Johannesburg by 12.30pm on Thursday, City Power said.

Electricity had been cut off since 8.30am as part of load shedding due to an emergency request from Eskom, said spokesman Hloni Motloung.

The affected areas were Hillbrow, Berea, Houghton, Hillside, Parktown, Doornfontein, Yeoville, Rosebank, Killarney, Saxonwold, Hyde Park, Dunkeld, Parkwood, Melrose Arch, Melrose, Birdhaven, Chislehurston, Riviera, Norwood, Bramley, Illovo, Athol, Inanda, Alexandra, Wynberg, Kew, Bramley Gardens, Fairmount, Silvamonte, Lyndhurst, Glenhazel, Crystal Gardens, Rembrandt Park, Sunningdale, and Lombardy.

Motloung said a full schedule of power cuts was available on City Power’s website.

Customers were urged to switch off appliances and equipment during outages to avoid damage when the power was restored.

“City Power apologises for the inconvenience and will keep the customers updated on the situation through its website.”

Eskom earlier announced power cuts were scheduled to last from 9am to 10pm across the country due to seven days of heavy rain leaving coal stocks wet.

Consumers were urged to switch off all non-essential appliances to reduce the impact of the power cuts.

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No economic impact from power cuts yet