Will our Christmas wish for electricity come true?

Eskom says there will be a low risk of load shedding on Christmas Day.

FILE: Eskom says there will be a low risk of load shedding on Christmas Day. Picture: EPA

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says there will be a low risk of load shedding on Christmas Day.

Eskom's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tshediso Matona gave an extensive briefing about the state of the country's power system yesterday and what to expect over the next few weeks.

From Thursday, the power grid will once again be under severe strain due to an expected shortage of diesel.

Load shedding was implemented for the third consecutive weekend and again yesterday due to ongoing problems which have plagued the country since a coal silo collapse at the Majuba Power Station.

Matona says, they're hoping supply will be more stable on Christmas Day.

"The public out there would like to know whether indeed Christmas is going to be a cold turkey Christmas or whether there will be lights, so we saying lets plan it on the conservative side and rather surprise ourselves if we do well rather than over promise."

NATIONAL BLACKOUT

Eskom has assured South Africans there won't be a national blackout, but load shedding will become a reality for the next few months.

Eskom says South Africa is nowhere near a national blackout despite this having happened in other countries.

The utilities Eskom Steve Lennon says this isn't even an option.

"The viral rumour that went around that Eskom was scheduling a national blackout is absolute nonsense."

Lennon says there have been blackouts in other parts of the world like New York and even Germany.

"Fortunately they were able to rely on massive support from the French system and they were able to recover within a few hours. If it happened in South Africa, we haven't got the support from very strong neighbours and it could take us weeks to recover and that is why we focus so strongly in avoiding a national blackout."

However, South Africans are urged to start planning their lives and business around load shedding for the next few months.