Eskom: Festive lights to stay on

Eskom says the lights will stay on if the grid stays as stable as it is.

Power lines running to a coal power station near Johannesburg. Picture: Kim Ludbrook/EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it's confident the Christmas tree lights will stay on this week if the power grid stays as stable as it is.

The power utility has confirmed that generators which were taken offline for maintenance have been reinstalled.

Acting spokesperson for Eskom Khulu Phasiwe says these generators will lighten the load on the power grid.

However he says people must take into account that the power grid is working on aging infrastructure which means the situation could change at any point.

"The risk is low, and this will continue. But, we are running a very old power grid, which is vulnerable."

Eskom has called on customers to switch off all electrical appliances before they go on holiday.

Last month the parastatal's Chief Executive Officer, Tshediso Matona, warned South Africans that load shedding could become a reality for the next few months in order to stabilise the power system.

The utility has battled to keep the grid stable since a coal silo collapsed at the Majuba Power Station in Mpumalanga last month.

Last week government announced it would design and launch a procurement process to build 9,600 megawatts of nuclear power plants.

Government said it's planning to add the megawatts of nuclear power capacity to the national grid, equal to nearly a quarter of the current capacity.