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No load shedding until Thursday

Eskom says supplies at its pump storage power stations have been restored.

Cape Town city bowl at night as seen from the foot of Table Mountain. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says supplies at its pump storage power stations have been restored and there will be no load shedding until Thursday.

But the utility says it can't guarantee the same thereafter.

Large parts of the country were plunged into darkness for the third consecutive weekend after Eskom declared stage 3 load shedding on Friday.

Lights will be on this week, but Eskom has warned that from Thursday the possibility of rolling blackouts will depend on the extent to which its managed to recover its hydro power station reserves and its diesel tanks.

The utility's Andrew Etzinger says diesel tanks are recovering slowly.

"When it comes to diesel tanks, unfortunately it won't be full. We are recovering slowly, so that will be good, but not quite good enough, unfortunately."

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

It says its hoping to stabilise the grid before Christmas, as some large industries will be closed.

WESTERN CAPE

Eskom in the Western Cape says no load shedding is expected to take place today or tomorrow, but there's an increased risk from Wednesday.

Eskom's Alwie Lester says the power utility will do everything possible to avoid load shedding this week.

"This week ahead we can't guarantee no load shedding, but we do know that Monday and Tuesday should be much easier days for the country. We'll have a look again from Tuesday night."

ESKOM & ECONOMIC GROWTH

Meanwhile, there are concerns that the power crisis will have a major impact on gains made regarding economic growth.

As the power utility battles to meet demand there is concern that the power crisis may affect the gains in other areas to promote growth.

However, an improvement of up to 2.5 percent is expected next year.

Nedbank's Dennis Dykes says the power crisis will affect big industries though.

"There will be a direct loss to growth, to GDP, possibly somewhere between 0.3 to 0.5 percent on GDP, which is a considerable amount."

However, separately, Dykes says that despite the power problems consumers should have a good Christmas.

The oil price has fallen dramatically over the past few weeks .

Cash strapped South Africans should therefor get more for their money at the petro pumps in early 2015.