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South Africans can breathe a sigh of relief, as the national power utility seems to be stabilising itself.
Image via Pexels
Eskom has announced that it will not implement Stage 1 rotational load shedding on Tuesday 11 December.
South Africans can breathe a sigh of relief, as the national power utility seems to be stabilising itself following weeks of intermittent load shedding. On Monday, Eskom resolved to mitigate rotational power cuts.
While the utility has warned that the national power grid remains volatile, Eskom says it has managed to bring several previously defunct electricity generating units back online. This recent operational improvement comes in the wake of a fiery media briefing spearheaded by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.
During his speech on Thursday, Gordhan stated that emergency procedures had been put in place to alleviate load shedding. One of these measures included the nullification of festive season leave previously afforded to Eskom’s senior executives and plant managers. Gordhan promised South African’s that load shedding would be halted for a month, meaning that citizens and visitors could enjoy the holiday season without having to worry about blackouts.
Gordhan’s emergency plan seems to be yielding positive results, yet the ever-present threat of load shedding remains. According to Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe, unexpected breakdowns continue to haunt to utility; at any moment, load shedding could be reimplemented to avert a complete collapse of the electrical
“So far, the plans still stand that the technicians who are working on it have to make sure that they keep the promise that the minister made.”
The recent bout of load shedding is the result of Eskom’s horrendous maintenance plan. According to numerous reports, Eskom’s “budgetary constraints” – resulting from widespread mismanagement and corruption –seriously hampered upkeep efforts after 2010.
For the past eight years, the utility has left a large portion of its power plant regiment to degrade. This, coupled with coal shortages, industrial action and factional infighting, has manifested in and a deep-seated operational malaise.
Simply put, Eskom’s ineptitude has resulted in a lack of capacity – leaving the power grid vulnerable to collapse as demand outweighs supply.
To keep an eye out on the status of load shedding and to find out if your area will be affected, visit Eskom’s online portal here: www.loadshedding.eskom.co.za.