17 March 2014

South Africa: Load Shedding Not Foreseen As Rainy Weather Clears Up

Load shedding or the declaration of a power emergency is not foreseen as wet weather conditions are starting to clear up, Eskom said on Monday.

Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger said that as the rainy weather subsided over the weekend, the electricity parastatal's power stations have seen an improved performance.

The rainy weather has resulted in coal used to generate electricity becoming wet and therefore making it difficult for Eskom to fuel the country's power stations.

Earlier this month, the utility declared a fourth power emergency since November last year and load shedding was experienced across the country on a single day.

The wet and rainy weather, said Etzinger, is expected to clear up midweek.

"We're almost there. It's a positive trend we are seeing. We don't foresee any load shedding," he said.

The utility has previously said that since load shedding in 2008, it had put several systems in place to respond to unforeseen events, including the introduction of a national emergency centre.

At a briefing last week, outgoing Eskom CEO Brian Dames urged the public to use electricity sparingly, saying that the country's power supply remains tight.

Dames -- who was appointed as CEO on 1 July 2010 -- announced his resignation in December 2013 and will leave Eskom at the end of the month.

Etzinger said that the CEO's post has been advertised and that an announcement on the appointment of an interim CEO will be made soon.

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