Eskom warns of possible load shedding

Eskom has declared an emergency due to a severe constraint on the power grid because of the rainy weather.

Eskom has declared an emergency due to a severe constraint on the power grid becuase of the rainy weather.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has declared a power emergency due to the severe constraint on the power grid as a result of the rainy weather.

The power utility says load shedding is now a possibility given its grid is under the most severe pressure it's experienced since 2008.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger says the relentless rain is a major factor which is affecting coal supplies.

"Load shedding is a serious possibility at this stage."

The power emergency is the fourth such warning it has issued over the past several months.

Etzinger says after days of rain, the power stations are under severe strain and there needs to be an urgent drop is usage from all customers.

"To cut back on all non-essential use of electricity as far as possible unless a miracle comes through."

Two weeks ago, Eskom issued a similar emergency warning, but says this time it's more serious.

Etzinger is asking large industrial customers and ordinary citizens to decrease their electricity usage to avoid possible load shedding.

"Load shedding is certainly likely at this stage, the shortage is predicted to be more severe and at this stage we're issuing a warning. But by reducing demand from all our customers, and this is what we're calling for, we hope to avoid that."