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No plans for load shedding - Eskom

There were rolling blackouts across the country on Friday after several generators broke down.

FILE: Eskom says the power system is expected to be severely constrained this week as businesses resume operations. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says the power system is expected to be severely constrained this week as businesses resume operations after the festive season but it says it's not planning on implementing load shedding.

There were rolling blackouts across the country on Friday for the first time this year, after several generators broke down.

Eskom has been battling to keep up with electricity demand after experiencing problems at its power plants last year with a limited generating capacity and an ageing power system.

Most South Africans are expected to be back at work and school this week which means electricity demands will increase.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says the generators that broke down are now back in service.

Rolling blackouts are expected to be a reality for the next few years until Eskom has more power stations online that can deal with the countries current demand.

R20BN 'FINANCIAL RELIEF' FOR ESKOM

Eskom says it expects government to make about R20 billion available in financial relief, following revelations that the power utility will run out of money by the middle of next month.

Eskom has admitted it has nearly depleted its budget to buy diesel which costs about R1 billion a month. It's been using diesel to keep the lights on as ageing infrastructure is serviced.

Phasiwe says the R20 billion from government is needed to maintain operational stability.

"The R20 billion is for the general operations at Eskom. Remember we are building three new power stations and it will also assist in daily operations, like the acquisition of diesel and other things."

The power utility has confirmed that its budget is set to be depleted by the middle of February despite being expected to last until the end of the financial year in March.