High risk of power failures, warns Eskom

Eskom has asked citizens to reduce their power usage by 10% to help it conduct planned maintenance. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Eskom has asked citizens to reduce their power usage by 10% to help it conduct planned maintenance. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The risk of power cuts was high on Wednesday after two of Eskom’s generators failed, the power utility said.

“Two generators failed and this is part of a number of other challenges within the systems, which have exacerbated the situation,” said spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.

“We are not saying there will be load-shedding, but the risk is high between now [noon] and 10pm. If we all work together and use electricity sparingly, we can avoid load-shedding.”

Engineers were trying to determine why the generators had broken down and how long they would take to fix.

On Monday, Eskom said the power grid was constrained but stable after a spike in electricity usage as people returned home after being away on holiday.

At the time, Phasiwe said Eskom was able to meet the increased demand. The risk of rolling blackouts was low to medium.

He said there had been an average daily electricity demand of 25 000MW since the start of the holidays, but that this had risen to 30 000MW.

Eskom called on citizens to reduce their power usage by 10% during the day to help the utility conduct planned maintenance. 

President Jacob Zuma said in December that the ANC inherited the power utility from the previous regime, which had only provided electricity to the white minority, and that government was taking action to address the energy situation. – Sapa

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