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Eskom: More power constraints expected in November

The power utility is using the summer months to catch up on much-needed maintenance.

Eskom's Grootvlei Power Station. Picture: Eskom

JOHANNESBURG - While Eskom says the critical load on the electricity grid is expected to ease this weekend, it has warned that similar constraints are expected throughout November.

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

On Thursday, the company declared another system emergency.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger said, "That is the time when we'll be stepping up our maintenance problems, so more capacity will be coming offline and that of course increases vulnerability. It's important that we do the maintenance but it does mean that we could face possible shortfalls."

He says there are two appliances in the home that can be switched off for brief periods of time, which will ease demand on the network.

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

LOAD SHEDDING

The power utility is now closely monitoring the power grid and will only implement widespread blackouts as a last resort.

Eskom has warned that if large industrial customers and other users don't cut down on electricity usage, it will have no option but to cut power supplies.

Etzinger said, "If it is necessary to stabilise the grid by implementing load shedding, it would be an absolute last resort. We're appealing to everyone to switch off all non-essential equipment."