Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - Eskom continues to reassure South Africans that they will not be subjected to load shedding this festive season.

Power utility spokesperson Dikatso Mathae said the demand for electricity is at a low level at this time of the year.

“We don’t believe that we need to load shed over the festive season because there has been a drop in demand as lots of the businesses are closed for holidays,” Mathae said.

When asked when can the country expect the next wave of load shedding, she said that can never be pre-empted.

“It depends on what is going on in the system at any given time. We always advise customers to use electricity sparingly,” she said.

In a statement posted on Tuesday, the power utility said it would “continue to use emergency reserves to supplement capacity if necessary”.

Meanwhile, Mathae said the power generating infrastructure remained vulnerable. It has over “many years” not been maintained.

Dikatso Mathae

“Last week since we also did not have time to do so, as a result, the power station units are not operating at optimal and we see a lot of breakdowns.

“Over the next two years while we are working on our recovery plan we are likely to load shed and people must be ready, although we are doing everything on our side to limit the possibility of load shedding,” she said.

“We will give you an update as and when we are able to reveal what can we expect in the coming year. Over the next two years, we will implement the recovery plan.

“Please in your reporting do not create panic, and please be responsible on how you do your reporting,” she said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had to cut short his state visit to Egypt early this month and return home to deal with the Eskom challenges after the country’s load shedding had escalated to an unprecedented Stage Six.

He then announced that Eskom employees would work throughout the festive season to deal with the problems.

Political Bureau