Eskom suspends load shedding from 8pm Friday

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Eskom will suspend stage two load shedding from 8pm this evening.

Briefing the media a short while ago, COO Jan Oberholzer says there have been some improvements in the generation capacity, which has allowed its generation reserves ahead of the weekend.

Eskom briefing on load shedding:

The power utility adjusted the load shedding schedule to stage two from 5am this morning.

Eskom says it is confident that next week’s local government elections will not be affected by load shedding. It has however stressed that the power system is constrained and some units are unpredictable and unreliable.

Ramaphosa on load shedding

On Thursday, African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa said he is confident the intermittent power outages being experienced by Eskom will be resolved by this weekend.

Eskom implemented stage four load-shedding after it lost a large part of its generating capacity. The power utility on Thursday announced that the country will be moving to stage three from 9pm, reduced to stage two from 5am Saturday.

Ramaphosa has downplayed concerns that sabotage of Eskom may have been the cause of load shedding.

He was speaking to journalists while campaigning for the governing ANC in Thokoza, east of Johannesburg, ahead of Monday’s local government elections.

Eskom has plunged the country into the dark and many South Africans are unhappy.

The ANC is also not happy saying its government will be harshly judged at the polls by Eskom’s failure to keep the lights on. In its statement earlier this week, the governing party suspected sabotage. But speaking on the side-lines of his campaign in Ekurhuleni on Thursday,  Ramaphosa said the intermittent power outages are not intentional. He has assured South Africans that this problem would be solved by the weekend.

And on whether heads will roll in his cabinet or at Eskom, he said, for now, his obsession is getting power restored insisting the rest will follow. This comes at a time when there is mounting pressure on him to fire Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan together with the Eskom Board.

Ramaphosa said the grand solution to the Eskom crisis is opening up the market for Independent Power Producers.

On Wednesday, during a briefing with Gordhan regarding the latest power outages, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter outlined the reasons behind the load shedding across the country.

He said that the securing of power reserves ahead of election day was among the factors that necessitated the current load shedding.