Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter has announced that rolling blackouts will be lifted as early as Friday morning from five o’clock. De Ruyter says improvements in the power system have allowed Eskom to reduce the rolling blackouts from stage three to stage two by midday on Thursday.

He says rolling blackouts can be avoided if customers can cooperate and reduce demand.

“If all household were to switch off just one unnecessary light that will save around 835MW, that is more than one unit a big power station like Medupi . By just switch off one unnecessary light if people with swimming pools, and we are understand that there’s about 675 000 in South Africa, if these pumps for just one hour less a day, and you still get rid of all the dirt in the water, it’s just 1hr less a day, that will save 506MW.”

The power utility was briefing the media on the rolling blackouts that have gripped the country.

Meanwhile, City Power says it has met with its legal team to discuss taking Eskom to court over its insistence that the municipal power utility implements rolling blackouts in the city of Johannesburg.

City Power has requested to be exempted from stage 1 and stage 2 rolling blackouts saying that they have enough power to supply users with energy from Kelvin Power Station.

City Power spokesperson, Isaac Mangena says Eskom can not block its efforts to provide power to consumers.

“We believe that we have a solid case around why we want to be excluded from this. If Eskom can be allowed whether by law or even regulatory regime to block any efforts by municipalities to bring extra capacity to the grid then why did the President start talking about opening up the space for municipalities to start to speak to independent power producers,” explains Mangena. Additional reporting Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi