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Load shedding won't spoil Easter - Eskom

by Luyanda Makapela
on 17 Mar 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Eskom has assured those looking forward to the long Easter weekend that it will not conduct load shedding during this time.

This, as demand patterns were generally lower during weekends and holidays.

"The risk of load shedding remains high until Thursday. We don't expect any load shedding over the long weekend as demand patterns are historically lower during the holidays," said Eskom's Chief Officer Networks and Customer Care Erica Johnson on Monday.

The power utility started implementing emergency load shedding on Monday morning as it could not meet demand due to current cold weather conditions which has increased the demand for electricity.

"We appeal to all electricity consumers to contribute to save electricity and reduce demand by 10 percent," said Ms Johnson.

Eskom reported that load shedding will occur twice a day, excluding Johannesburg where load shedding is expected at least four times a day.

She said Eskom was currently using gas turbines to minimise load shedding while power rationing was expected to continue for the rest of the day (Monday) until after evening peak.

Ms Johnson further said Eskom was using the load shedding schedule on its website.

She, however, said they were revising these schedules and that timetable can be viewed from Eskom's website from this week. The schedules will only be implemented on 31 March.

Eskom said it had not implemented load shedding since 4 February 2008.

On Thursday, the power utility reported that it would resume pre-emptive load shedding on March 31 should it not get 10 percent savings across all sectors of the society.

These deliberate power cuts were expected not to last more than two hours and would take place between 6am and 10pm.

Eskom's Chief Executive Jacob Maroga earlier said the power utility had not been able to achieve significant savings from the commercial and residential sectors.

"Had we been able to achieve the 10 percent demand reduction of 3 000MW, we would not have been in this position where we have to implement scheduled load shedding," the chief executive said on Thursday.

He said though the target was to reduce demand by 10 percent to achieve 3 000MW load reduction, however, Eskom has been asked to contain the unplanned outages to around 500MW.

"We appeal to all South Africans to work with us to ensure that we do indeed achieve the 3 000MW demand reduction without scheduled load shedding.

"Eskom and Government will meet with the key industrial customers and Metropolitan Municipalities every two months and at the end of each session, will further use that opportunity to update the public on progress," added Mr Maroga. - BuaNews

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System


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