Eskom said that closures of industries and businesses meant that in the period between 14 December and 13 January 2019, no load shedding was expected. Picture: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File

Port Elizabeth - Eskom announced on Friday that due to a minor improvement in generation and lower electricity demand on Friday, it was load shedding below Stage 2, although Stage 1 rotational load-shedding was in place.

"Should the situation change, we will communicate accordingly," Eskom said in a statement.

The power utility said that although Stage 1 rotational load shedding was almost certain that on Saturday, it was not anticipating load shedding on Sunday.  

"From Monday, 10 December to Thursday, 13 December, there is a high probability that Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented in order deal with the anticipated rise in electricity demand during the week whilst our maintenance teams are tirelessly working round the clock to return the generating units back online,"

Eskom said that the closure of industries and many businesses for the festive break also meant that in the period between 14 December and 13 January 2019, no load-shedding was expected.

"The main reason for this is the expected decrease in electricity demand as industries and businesses close for the festive break,"

But the power utility warned that heavy rains associated with summer period in certain areas could impact coal handling and thus impact generation production.

"We continue to warn customers that while no load-shedding is anticipated during this period, the power system remains vulnerable and any shift could result in rotational load-shedding."

It also warned of supply interruptions due to localised power outages. 

"We have been using emergency resources to balance the system for a while and most recently to limit the extent and duration of load-shedding. This includes using diesel-run open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs), which is not a financially sustainable solution."

While it assured its customers that it was able to address the many challenges it faced, Eskom called on South Africans conserve electricity use.

Among others it said, switching off non-essential appliances such as lighting and geysers during the day would assist in conserving energy.

The power utility said that load-shedding schedules were available on the Eskom website and assistance was available from its call centre at 0860 037 566.

African News Agency (ANA)