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Eskom: Load shedding risk low

The power utility was last year forced to implement rolling blackouts.

FILE: South Africans have been warned that load shedding will be a reality for the next few months. Picture: EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - The risk of load shedding remains low despite many businesses opening for the New Year, Eskom said on Monday.

The power utility was last year forced to implement rolling blackouts due to limited generating capacity and several problems at power stations.

South Africans were warned that load shedding would be a reality for the next few months as the power grid remained vulnerable.

Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger said the system was stable and no load shedding was expected.

"We've seen a pickup in demand but not to the extent that we had anticipated. At the moment, the grid is stable."

He says while demand in summer is predictable, the weather isn't and a sustained period of rain could interrupt the utility's ability to meet demand.

Etzinger says the first unit at the Medupi power station in Mpumalanga is expected to be online by the middle of this year.

Industry experts on Sunday slammed the parastatal for apparently "sugar-coating" the country's power situation for the year ahead.

Eskom's spokesperson said the power utility used the holiday period to run tests and conduct maintenance.