A dark weekend on the cards‚ says Eskom

The risk of having power cuts over the weekend is high‚ Eskom said on Friday.

The power utility’s spokesperson‚ Khulu Phasiwe‚ said: “The national power grid is expected to remain constrained through the weekend‚ with a high probability of the implementation of stage 1 load-shedding tomorrow [Saturday] and on Sunday.”

Phasiwe said load-shedding would be done over the weekend to ensure that there was less load-shedding next week.

“With the diesel generators and pumped scheme storage dams having been used long and hard over the course of this week‚ Eskom will use the weekend to replenish the diesel tanks and water reservoirs to ensure a better start in the new week‚” he said.

By Friday afternoon‚ stage two load-shedding had been implemented with the power outages rotating since 9am.

While the power supplier had urged its customers to keep checking the online schedules to be informed of when their power would be cut off‚ some turned to social media to express frustration‚ saying the schedule did not match the times their power was off.

Eskom’s debt service costs have doubled in just a single year to R45bln‚ Business Day reported this week‚ highlighting the perilous state of the power utility‚ which supplies about 90% of SA’s energy needs.

Eskom has applied to the National Energy Regulator of SA for an electricity tariff hike of 15% a year for the next three years.

Earlier this month‚ the company said 10 out of 15 coal-fired power stations were experiencing supply shortages. Its coal stockpiles also face the added risk of getting wet during summer rains.

By: Naledi Shange

Source: TMG Digital.

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