Cape Town-140306-Businesses and resident accross the Western Cape face unexpected power cut today as Escom exercised their load sheding plan. In pic Pub and restaurant, Hello Sailor took it in their stride with a cheecky black board message-Reporter-Nontando Mposo-Photographer-Tracey Adams

Cape Town -

Eskom says no load shedding was experienced at the weekend, but has warned of further blackouts if the severe rain in Mpumalanga continues.

The power utility came under the spotlight after consumers were hit by load shedding. Eskom declared a power emergency on Wednesday. Thursday’s load shedding was the first time since 2008 that the utility has had to resort to rolling blackouts.

On Sunday, Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger said the situation remained critical but stable at the moment.

“The system is still in the balance at the moment. There was no load shedding over the weekend, but if the severe rain continues in Mpumalanga, there might be load shedding because the coal will get affected. We don’t predict load shedding today (Monday). It’s hard to predict because we depend on the weather, but we will take it one day at a time,” Etzinger said.

He said the situation had improved at the weekend.

“The situation is still tight but since Thursday, it has improved. We cannot predict what might happen in the week because the weather can catch us by surprise. We cannot do this alone and we urge the public to assist us by switching off geysers and swimming pool pumps,” he said.

Etzinger said consumers would be informed on the supply of electricity.

Eskom chief executive Brian Dames said on Friday: “The decision was necessary to avoid a total blackout.”

Large industrial customers were asked to reduce consumption by 10 percent and the public were asked to conserve electricity to help ease demand on the power grid.

The City of Cape Town initiated “stage three” power cuts and suburbs in Port Elizabeth were also affected.

Eskom urged the public to continue to use electricity sparingly although the emergency was over.

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Cape Times