Eskom edges closer to exceeding supply capacity

Constraints on electricity supply are expected to ease by the weekend.

Power lines running to a coal power station near Johannesburg. Picture: EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has reiterated its appeal to consumers to conserve electricity in the evenings as demand edges closer to exceeding supply capacity and the prospect of widespread cuts.

The constraint on the electricity supply has been caused by the power utility using the summer months to catch up on much-needed maintenance on its aging infrastructure.

The situation is expected to ease by the weekend.

For now, Eskom's Andrew Etzinger says the peak-demand period is just a few hours away.

"Between 6pm and 8pm that is our peak time, and again as we saw last night we are expecting a very tight system. If we can count on our customers to cut back on their electricity usage as they did last night, then we should come through absolutely fine, but it is going to be tight.

"We're asking all home owners to please switch off their geysers and swimming pool pumps between 6pm and 8pm. Water will stay hot in your geyser and your pool water won't go green but it does have a massive impact on the grid."