No load shedding? Let’s not promise anything, says Chabane

Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane said on Thursday during a briefing in Pretoria after a Cabinet meeting that the government was doing everything in its power to prevent power cuts to the country.

South Africa's power supply was running on very thin reserve margins, with demand for power very close to exceeding the available electricity supply.

As winter approaches, power utility Eskom has warned that it can no longer hold off critical maintenance to its power stations to meet electricity demand, heightening the risk of load shedding.

Of particular concern were peak hours during the morning and evening, when electricity consumption spiked. The utility called on customers to conserve power during these times by switching off non-essential appliances and geysers.   

In a statement issued on Thursday, Cabinet highlighted that there were "no plans for load shedding". Chabane said government could not, however, promise that it would not take place. 


"If, in our projections, we estimate that [load shedding] might happen, we will try to inform communities in advance so that people are able to schedule and plan their activities in advance," said Chabane. 

The Cabinet gave assurances that "various programmes were in place to ensure that electricity demand was met and that the integrity of the power system was maintained at all times".

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Lynley Donnelly
Lynley Donnelly
Lynley is a senior business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. But she has covered everything from social justice to general news to parliament - with the occasional segue into fashion and arts. She keeps coming to work because she loves stories, especially the kind that help people make sense of their world.

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