Power utility Eskom says it is not yet out of the woods on potential load-shedding this week, amid very low reserve margins and continued expected rainfall.
Eskom enforced load-shedding on Thursday (6 March) after days of heavy rain had left coal stocks wet. The company said at that the time that it is facing its most serious power emergency since 2008.
Eskom’s Andrew Etzinger told Talk Radio 702: “Over the weekend we used the opportunity as far as possible, to replenish our emergency reserves.”
He said that power remains a “tight situation” as of this morning, “but we’ve come through, and now we focus on the afternoon”.
“Unfortunately, we can’t give any guarantees; we are obviously working very hard to prevent that (load shedding),” the spokesperson said.
“At this stage everything is under control,” Etzinger said, noting, however, that the state of power can deteriorate, especially given the wet weather around the country.
“We have very low reserve margins…very little buffer to guard off against unexpected technical problems,” he said.
On the weather outlook, Etzinger said: “Unfortunately the outlook is not good. The weather bureaus forecast continued rain until Friday.”
“We are not out of the woods as yet, no way.”
Meanwhile, online auction site Bidorbuy said that the power cuts affecting parts of South Africa has led to a sharp rise of popularity of generators.
It said that the four most popular variants of the term (generator, generators, petrol generator and diesel generator) climbed several hundred rungs to take the very top place among the most popular searches on the site during the past week.
On average, bidorbuy.co.za said it records over five thousand searches for about three hundred terms every day.
Other products that are seeing an increase in popularity due to the fear of load-shedding are gas-powered kitchen appliances, stand-alone or built-in hobs and stoves.