Eskom urges South Africans to use electricty sparingly

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Eskom has called on South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly.

The power utility says it does not plan to implement load shedding at this stage, however, the system remains vulnerable.

Eskom Spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha says “While no load shedding is currently being implemented, Eskom would like to request the public’s assistance in reducing the usage of electricity as the power system is severely constrained. Since the weekend, there have been numerous generating unit breakdowns at various power stations. This has required Eskom to utilise significant amounts of emergency generation reserves, which under the current constrained system, is difficult to replenish.”

Rolling blackouts remain a threat

Eskom Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter says the country’s electricity system remains stable but there is still a strong possibility of rolling blackouts as maintenance continues.

De Ruyter was presenting the state of the system at Eskom headquarters last week.

He added that unplanned capacity outages in generation are sitting at 9 000 megawatts,  the lowest it has been in a very long time.

Security for networks and assets

The power utility says it has deployed an additional 450 security guards to deal with increasing criminal activities on their networks and assets.

De Ruyter says vandalism and theft is major a concern for them because it increases electricity interruptions for customers, public safety concerns and financial losses.

The guards will be deployed to key sites using advanced surveillance technologies such as intelligent cameras and drones equipped with infrared cameras to protect their assets.

“Power crisis could take years to resolve”

Meanwhile, Energy analyst Adil Nchabeleng says it will take South Africa at least five years to cross over the current power crisis.

Speaking to SABC News in November last year, he said the 4000 to 6000mw of power needed to be added to the grid that has to be procured from outside sources takes time as these processes can not happen overnight.

Nchabeleng adds that there is no real commitment from Eskom to improve capacity.

More details in the video below: 

-Additional reporting by SABC News