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Eskom lifts power emergency

The power utility says the emergency was lifted last night, but adds the grid is still vulnerable.

The power utility says it is in better shape, but still vulnerable. Picture: www.eskom.co.za.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says the country's power emergency has been lifted, but the grid remains vulnerable.

Yesterday, the power utility declared a power emergency after at least four of its generators tripped.

The utility issued an emergency warning to its customers and called on business and commercial customers to scale down as its reserves had been depleted.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger says the emergency was lifted at 9pm last night.

"Fortunately, we are in a slightly better situation this morning. Friday's demand is naturally lower than other days of the week so all in all, we are in better shape, but still vulnerable."

In a statement released yesterday, the company said, "The power system is severely constrained today due to the loss of additional generating units from our power station fleet, reduced imports and the extensive use of emergency reserves.

"This has necessitated the need for Eskom to declare an emergency in terms of the approved regulatory protocols, as a measure to protect the national electricity grid."

This is the second time since November that an emergency has been declared by the parastatal.

Last time, the utility said emergency maintenance work meant customers had to cut usage.

The emergency was lifted after around 24 hours.

Since then, CEO Brian Dames resigned from his role at the company, citing personal reasons.