13 December 2018

South Africa: No Load Shedding Over the Festive Season

South Africans will breathe a sigh of relief at the news that the probability of load shedding remains low for the rest of the year.

"The probability of load shedding remains low from today until Sunday 13 January 2019. This is as a result of the expected decrease in demand as businesses and industries close down for the festive break," Eskom said on Thursday.

The power utility has not implemented load shedding since Sunday.

However, Eskom warned that heavy rains over the December to March period could impact coal handling and feeding to the boilers with a potential impact on generation production.

"While we do not anticipate load shedding we continue to warn customers that as the system remains vulnerable, any shift could increase the probability of load shedding. Eskom will communicate if there is a change," said the power utility.

Eskom continues to implement a short-to medium-term 9-point recovery programme that will see steady and sustained improvement in plant performance and coal stock levels.

In addition, Eskom will over the December period, intensify its maintenance activities in an effort to improve generation capacity for the return of businesses and industries in the New Year.

Steady progress has been made with regards to fixing coal stockpiles with 35 new coal contracts having been concluded between January and 9 December 2018. This is for the supply of 18.6Mt with a total contracted volume of 94Mt.

In preparation for continuous rains, three days of compacted strategic stockpiles have been created at power stations.

"While we do not anticipate load shedding over the holiday period, local power outages could occur not as a result of load shedding but due to technical faults on the distribution network.

"If customers experience power outages they are advised to contact the Eskom customer centre or their municipalities to allow for early restoration."

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