Blackouts due to economic growth: ANC

The strain on the power grid is due to economic growth and development, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Wednesday.

“[This] is a positive challenge, in the sense that capacity is overloaded with more people now having access to electricity and the economy continuing to grow,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

“However, there has not been sufficient development of generation capacity.”

Priority had to be given to projects which would bring energy onto the grid in the next 18 to 24 months.

Mantashe was briefing the media following a three-day national executive committee lekgotla held in Pretoria this week.

Wednesday load shedding ended

Meanwhile the stage one rolling power cuts that were implemented by Eskom on Wednesday by ended at 2pm, the group announced.

This was thanks to customers who reduced their energy consumption, Eskom said.

“Eskom would like to thank all the customers who responded to our call and reduced their electricity consumption, which has enabled us to stop load shedding earlier than anticipated,” it said in a statement.

Restoration of power could take longer in some areas, it warned.

Stage one allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be cut, stage two for up to 2000MW, and stage three for up to 4000MW.

On Wednesday morning Eskom announced that the system was severely constrained and that it would be implementing stage one load shedding from 10am until 10pm to manage dam levels at its pumped storage schemes.

The electricity demand had been lower than expected, it said.

“The system will continue to be under severe pressure for the rest of the week, and the risk of load shedding will remain medium to high.”

All electricity users, including commercial customers, were encouraged to switch off non-essential appliances.

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Blackouts due to economic growth: ANC