Eskom: No intention to implement load shedding, for now

Eskom’s Andrew Etzinger says the power grid has been severely constrained today.

Eskom’s inability to meet demand in December underscores the precarious state of SA's power supply. Picture: EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it's cautiously optimistic that it will be able to pull through this evening without load shedding.

Earlier today, the utility warned that due to a high electricity demand, there was a 50 percent chance of rolling blackouts this evening.

The country has experienced load shedding for several weeks now due to limited generating capacity and ongoing problems at existing power plants.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger says the power grid has been severely constrained today.

"At the moment, there is a high demand for electricity and that is due to the wet conditions in Gauteng."

But for now, he says there's no intention to implement load shedding.

"The power grid is stable at the moment so we don't expect load shedding."

There have however been reports of some unplanned outages in and around Johannesburg today.

Diesel reserves are expected to run out towards the end of the week, meaning rolling blackouts still remain a possibility over the next few days.

Earlier, both the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) called on Eskom to complete the Medupi and Kusile Power Stations as soon as possible to avoid further load shedding.

Video: 'SA not in power crisis'.

Eskom 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.

The utility has assured customers that the country is far from a national blackout but has warned load shedding is likely to be a reality for the next few months.

Matona emphasised that there's no crisis.

Yesterday, Eskom said there will be a low risk of load shedding on Christmas Day.

Eskom's inability to meet demand in December, when electricity usage usually dips, underscores the precarious state of South Africa's power supply due to years of underfunding.

The utility, which supplies virtually all of South Africa's power, said last month the government's promised R20 billion rand cash injection wouldn't be enough to ease funding constraints and help it avoid a credit downgrade

Click here to view Eskom's load shedding schedule.

Click here for an interactive map of the load shedding schedule in Cape Town.