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Eskom will keep the lights on during 21-day lockdown

Published Mar 28, 2020


CAPE TOWN - Eskom on Saturday said it does not expect to implement loadshedding during the 21-day national lockdown, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"Demand for electricity has dropped by more than 7,500MW since the start of the national lockdown. We anticipate further demand reduction for the duration of the lockdown," Eskom said in a statement.

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"In order to protect the integrity of the system, Eskom has started taking some generation units off the grid. These units are available to return to service at short notice should the need arise. Eskom has had to postpone the philosophy maintenance for the duration of the lockdown as we have to keep the number of workers on site at a minimum. We have instead shifted the focus to carrying out short-term maintenance and other repairs in order to optimise the generation units to meet the rising demand after the lockdown."

Ramaphosa on Monday night announced a nationwide 21-day lockdown from midnight on Thursday until midnight on April 16.

In an address broadcast live on television, Ramaphosa said all people in South Africa would be compelled to stay at home, save for essential services such as health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel and those in security services such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel and soldiers.

Eskom said that some of its personnel were exempt from the provisions of the lockdown, as they were an essential and critical service supplier.

"As such, we do not expect any impediments to the generation and supply of electricity during this period. Our suppliers, particularly the coal mines, logistics suppliers and those supplying the parts and maintenance services at our power stations, will be able to operate during the lockdown," it said.

On Friday, the health department announced that South Africa had 1170 confirmed Covid-19 cases. 

African News Agency 

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