Durban - Eskom has defended load shedding after allegations on social media claimed that load shedding was a "diversion".
In a statement, Eskom said they have informed the public that load shedding is a result of a shortage of capacity due to a number of factors, including generating units being out of service due to breakdowns, and it is implemented as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.
“We have experienced deterioration in plant performance over the past six months resulting in shortage of capacity to meet the demand in electricity which has forced us to implement load shedding,” the statement said.
It said due to the magnitude of units on technical breakdowns the number of megawatts to meet demand has reduced. In order to match the demand in the country load shedding has to be implemented to balance what is available and to avoid a total collapse of the power system.
“We are confident that we have the capacity to address these power generation challenges. South Africans can also assist us by using electricity sparingly and reducing demand throughout the day by switching off non-essential appliances and lighting,” it said.
On social media, there is a post that has been shared numerous times, about coal being shipped off from Richards Bay. Among those sharing the post is former ANC MP, Vytie Mentor.
Another post reads:
“7.2 million tons of coal destined for China from Richards Bay Harbor refers:
36 Chinese ships are waiting for coal to be loaded in Richards bay Harbour.
Where is the shortage now Eskom
Each ship takes about 36 hours to be loaded.
200 000 tons of coal per ship average
It is Grade A anthracite.
The informant also says that Eskom have huge stockpiles of coal.
They lie because they want that 15% increase in electricity tariffs.”