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'SA power grid under enormous pressure'

The power utility declared a power emergency yesterday when four of its generators tripped.

Eskom declared a power emergency on 20 February after four of its generators tripped. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it has no reserves left and the power grid remains under enormous pressure.

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

Large industrial customers were asked to reduce their usage by at least 10 percent.

Ordinary customers have also been asked to help reduce their electricity consumption.

Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger says,"Certainly what we are in the process of doing is reducing demand in an orderly way in order to ultimately prevent a system blackout."

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.

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