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Public warned to prepare for load shedding

Eskom says is warning customers to be prepared for load shedding tomorrow and possibly Friday.

FILE: Eskom has implemented rolling blackouts for the past few weeks due to limited generating capacity. Picture: EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says the power system has stabilised since Monday but is warning customers to be prepared for load shedding tomorrow and possibly Friday.

The utility has implemented rolling blackouts for the past few weeks due to limited generating capacity and several problems at its existing power plants.

This week, Eskom chief executive Tshediso Matona told the media that there was no crisis, but that rolling blackouts would be a reality for the next few months.

Video: SA not in power crisis

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger says the lights will stay on this evening.

"Today we're in a better position but for Thursday and Friday we're warning of stage one load shedding and this is due to a depletion of the diesel."

Political parties have called on independent power producers to help stabilise the electricity grid to avoid further load shedding.

The African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have spoken out, saying action must be taken because continuous power cuts are having a major impact on the economy.

The DA's Mmusi Maimane says load shedding must be declared a national crisis, while the ANC's Keith Khoza says independent power producers also need to come on board.

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.

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