050910 Electricity pylons carry power from Cape Town's Koeberg nuclear power plant July 17, 2009. South Africa will need 20 gigawatts (GW) of new power generation capacity by 2020 and would require double that amount a decade later to meet rising demand, the country's power utility said September 7, 2009. Picture taken July 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA ENERGY BUSINESS)

The country’s electricity provider‚ Eskom‚ said late Tuesday afternoon it was working hard to protect the power supply from disruption as a result of adverse weather conditions.

It said it had revised upwards its forecast for this evening’s peak demand by about 500 MW‚ with snow and severe cold driving up demand across the country.

“The revised peak demand for this evening is estimated at 35 648 MW‚ while available capacity (including the open cycle gas turbines) is expected to be 37 398 MW. The power system will be tight during the evening peak‚ particularly from about 5pm to 7pm‚ and Eskom urges all customers to switch off all non-essential appliances during this time‚”the power parastatal said.

Severe weather conditions‚ including strong winds and snow‚ have affected some of Eskom’s transmission and distribution infrastructure in areas such as the Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Eskom said it had staff and vehicles on standby and had managed to prevent interruptions to power supply in most parts of the country‚ and it was working to restore power as soon as possible to those areas that had been affected.

“Peak demand for the rest of the week is anticipated to be lower because of the public holiday on Thursday (9 August) and school holiday on Friday (10 August). The peak demand forecast for the rest of the week is 33 738 MW on Wednesday‚ 33 089 MW on Thursday and 33 085 MW for Friday.

“This week’s peak demand is not expected to be as high as the peak demand for the year to date‚ which was 35 865 MW on 11 June 2012‚”Eskom added. - I-Net Bridge