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Eskom halts Monday's load shedding plans

by Luyanda Makapela
on 31 Mar 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Eskom has announced it has halted load shedding on Monday as it was still re-looking at the load shedding process.

Eskom said on Monday the decision whether it was necessary to continue with load shedding to reduce the demand for electricity would be made during a meeting, after which a statement would be released.

Load shedding was expected to resume on Monday as a result of the challenge of optimally balancing the supply and demand for electricity.

"Our national supply system is currently operating under constrained conditions and in order to manage the situation we need to reduce the demand of electricity to manageable levels," said Eskom's Officer Networks and Customer Care Erika Johnson on Friday.

Predictable and scheduled load shedding was expected to operate an average of two to two and a half hours of interruption every second day, excluding Sundays.

This exception, according to Eskom, was based on requests from local businesses and in collaboration with the City of Johannesburg.

South African consumers have been asked to save 10 percent of their current consumption in order to reduce the demand for electricity during a time when the country is facing a shortage of supply.

Once a municipality or industrial customer that is individually switchable achieved the required 10 percent load reduction, they can apply for exclusion from the scheduled load shedding, but not emergency load shedding, Eskom said.

Ms Johnson earlier said the effectiveness of saving electricity had been illustrated by the system stabilisation achieved since February 2008.

This period of stable operation was due to generation performance improvement and the 10 percent load reduction largely by Eskom's key industrial customers.

"If all consumers across the country adopt the same attitude to power saving as our key industrial customers, it will significantly reduce the likelihood of load shedding," Ms Johnson said.

On 20 March, government reaffirmed its commitment to monitor very closely the negotiations between Eskom and the regulator so that the proposed tariff increase on electricity did not adversely affect the poor.

"Government will ensure that a differentiated tariff structure is put in place to protect the poor, low income households and small enterprises," Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said.

The move followed after Eskom submitted the proposed electricity tariffs to the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) recently.

In a statement released by Cabinet earlier this month, the proposed tariffs were due to the rising operational costs, in particular, the rise in the price of coal and diesel.

The possibility of introducing time based tariffs will also be explored. - BuaNews

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System

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