Power system to remain tight, says Eskom

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Johannesburg - South Africa's power system will remain vulnerable during winter, acting Eskom CEO Collin Matjila said on Thursday.

“The country still remains vulnerable and it will be the same during winter,” Matjila told reporters in Johannesburg.

“While we continue with maintenance, as part of our strategy to have remaining capacity… we will see a reduction in the maintenance schedule.”

Winter, from Eskom's perspective, was characterised by an “emergency situation”.

Eskom had experienced very positive co-operation from industrial and business users during summer, though on February 20 and 21, and March 6, power system emergencies were declared.

On March 6, the power utility implemented load shedding for the first time in six years, said Matjila.

“We project from information received from weather experts that this winter is likely to be the same as last winter,” he said.

“We are not expecting a severe winter.”

Even so, measures were being taken to ensure the winter demand was met.

He called on customers to reduce electricity consumption, especially between the peak 5pm-to-9pm period, through turning off unused appliances, lights, and using gas heaters.

On Wednesday, Matjila said in a statement Eskom executives would forgo their annual bonuses this year in light of the parastatal's R255 billion revenue shortfall.

Eskom said the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) had approved a tariff increase of eight percent, which left it with a funding gap. - Sapa


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