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Eskom: No blackouts expected over weekend

The power grid was stable on Saturday and no rolling blackouts were expected over the weekend, Eskom said.

“The power grid is stable at this stage and we are not expecting load shedding this weekend,” spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said. “All of this is depended on our generators working optimally… so far our systems are working okay.” 

On Thursday, Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona said government shared responsibility with Eskom for the power problems gripping the country. “The government co-owns the problem because some of the factors that led us into the situation have to do with policy,” he told reporters in Johannesburg. This included electricity pricing set by the National Energy Regulator of SA. 

In November, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said Cabinet had approved measures valued at around R20bn to help Eskom deal with the problems it faces. Matona said he could not divulge the details of this intervention. 

Matona reiterated that the country’s power supply would remain severely constrained in the coming months while Eskom dealt with its maintenance backlog. He likened Eskom to “a ship sailing through difficult waters” and a car that had not had regular maintenance. 

He said maintenance, like a religion at Eskom, had been neglected in recent years and at times was deferred to keep the lights on. In February 900 megawatts would be taken off the grid when one of Koeberg nuclear power station’s units would undergo maintenance. – Sapa

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