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Power cuts to continue until 8pm tonight

The utility says the power grid remains under severe pressure after technical problems hit this week.

An aerial view of a Johannesburg power station as seen from an aircraft on 23 June, 2010. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Eskom says power cuts will continue until 8pm tonight, as it tries to build up enough supply to meet demand for the week.

The utility says the power grid remains under severe pressure, after technical problems at its power stations.

Large parts of Gauteng and the Western Cape have been hit by the blackouts with traffic lights out in many areas due to the outages and the rain.

Eskom's Tony Stott says, "We're doing a little bit better but we still have a situation where we need to build up the reserves of our diesel fuel for the open cycle gas turbines and the water in dams for the pump storage schemes."

Eskom also says it's concerned about its diesel reserves which could affect electricity supply this week.

It says the system is expected to be tight in the early parts of the week but no rolling blackouts are scheduled.

Eskom has alternative power stations which burn diesel however it says these are expensive to run and would normally only run at peak times.

The parastatal resumed stage 1 load shedding this morning.

CONTINUING SCHEDULE PROBLEMS

As load shedding continues around the country today, Eskom has acknowledged it's experiencing problems with its schedules.

The utility has implemented load shedding after experiencing a number of technical problems at its power stations.

This is the third time the utility has implemented load shedding this year.

Eskom has been experiencing problems since the collapse of a coal silo at the Majuba Power Station in Mpumalanga earlier this month.

The collapse led to rolling blackouts across the country on 2 November.

Stott said, "We recognise that there are problems with the schedules and we are doing our best to overcome that."