The cold weather in several parts of the country and “loss of some generation capacity” could lead to more load shedding blackouts across South Africa on Thursday.

Eskom has appealed to the public to reduce the use of electricity between 4pm and 9pm in order to ease the pressure on the country’s power system.

The power utility made the unwelcome announcement in a statement on Thursday afternoon after a cold front enveloped parts of Gauteng and the Western Cape this week.

“Due to the severely cold weather in parts of the country, coupled with the loss of some generation capacity, Eskom would like to warn the public that it may be forced to implement load shedding at short notice should there be any further generation losses,” Eskom said.

“The system is currently severely constrained, and it is anticipated that towards the evening peak, the system will come under additional pressure due to high demand for electricity. Eskom would therefore like to appeal to the public to reduce the usage of electricity in order to help ease the pressure on the power system between 4pm and 9pm,” Eskom said.

Eskom added that its breakdowns currently totalled 12 984MW, while planned maintenance was 2 924MW of capacity. 

“Any further significant loss of capacity would force Eskom to implement load shedding in order to protect the integrity of the system. Eskom will communicate promptly should there be any significant changes to the performance of the system,” Eskom said.

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Presh JM Reporter

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