Eskom: Power supply 'severely constrained'

The power utility says the grid is under strain due to technical problems.

FILE: Eskom says the country's power supply is likely to remain under pressure for the rest of the week. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG -South Africa's power supply is "severely constrained" and will remain so for the rest of the week because of technical problems, Eskom said on Wednesday.

"We have alerted our key industrial customers and have required them to reduce their load by a minimum of 10 percent," Eskom said in a statement.

The utility has asked people to switch off non-essential electrical appliances to prevent load shedding tonight.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger says, "We're asking consumers to reduce demand and that would reduce the need for load shedding."

It has also asked industrial customers to cut back their power usage by 10 percent.

National Planning Commission commissioner professor Anton Eberhard says this shows how serious the electricity situation is.

"This means we can't power our economy properly."

The power utility had to implement power cuts eight months ago as it didn't have enough reserves to keep the lights on.

Additional reporting by Reuters