Eskom says it is monitoring its power availability every hour, making short term predictions on the health of supply very difficult.
This is according to SA Breaking News and follows reports that the power utility, which supplies 95% of the country’s electricity, was set to begin load shedding from next week.
Eskom implemented load shedding for the first time in 2015, on Friday (9 January).
There was no indication of rolling blackouts on Tuesday (13 January), but the power grid remained under pressure, Eskom said.
“We are looking relatively okay for today but the system is constantly constrained, so if something unexpected happens we might have to implement load shedding,” Eskom said in a statement.
Moneyweb and News24 reported that Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona on Monday told stakeholders that a single unforseen event could send the country into a national blackout, which would then take weeks to repair.
The papers reported that Matona also warned of load shedding from next week, citing Christo van der Rheede, CEO of the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut, who attended the meeting.
“Basically it seems they are all on their knees every evening, praying that there is enough electricity,” Van der Rheede said.
Eskom told SA Breaking News that the risk of load shedding would increase as the weekend approached.
“We have a low reserve margin but at this stage we are not planning to implement any load shedding. This may change if there are technical problems. As we get closer to Friday, we will see an increased risk of load shedding, but we will assess the situation as we move closer to the day,” said Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger.
“So many things can change overnight. I can’t speculate what is going to happen tomorrow. On Friday morning the grid was stable but by 11am we were load shedding. That is how quickly things can change,” he said.