150711. Sunset in Crownmines, Johannesburg. The picture can be used for Eskom energy supply crisis. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko


Johannesburg - Eskom has lifted its power emergency declaration as pressure on the system eased slightly, it said on Friday.

“The power emergency was lifted at around 9pm [on Thursday] but the system is still in a vulnerable state,” said Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger on Friday.

Eskom declared the power emergency on Thursday afternoon, urging major industrial customers to reduce electricity consumption by at least 10 percent.

“The power system is severely constrained today due to the loss of additional generating units from our power station fleet, reduced imports, and the extensive use of emergency reserves,” Eskom said in a statement at the time.

The emergency was declared in accordance with its regulatory protocols to protect the national power grid.

Eskom published load shedding schedules for its direct customers on its website, but said these were only “a precautionary measure”.

“While we will make every effort to avoid load shedding, we are hopeful that by applying these measures, coupled with support from all electricity consumers, we will achieve the required load reduction necessary to protect the national grid.”

Beside the call to industrial customers, shopping centres and retail outlets were asked to switch off geysers and adjust airconditioning to 23 degrees Celsius to help reduce demand.

Office workers were asked to switch off all lights and air conditioning and just keep security lighting on.

Residential customers were asked to switch off geysers, airconditioners, lights and non-essential appliances between 5pm and 9pm. - Sapa