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'A national blackout is almost impossible'

Government says only an ‘act of God’ will cause the country to experience a complete blackout.

FILE. Government says only an ‘act of God’ will cause the country to experience a complete blackout. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - As Eskom announces a high probability of more load shedding today, government says the electricity crisis is receiving the highest priority and that only an 'act of God' will cause the country to experience a complete blackout.

Acting Communications Director General Donald Liphoko has dismissed reports Eskom has briefed government about a complete shutdown lasting two weeks if the system crashes.

Liphoko says it's almost impossible for the power grid to totally collapse, leaving the country without power for two weeks.

"A total blackout is simply intolerable. It's critical that we remain level headed and work together to make sure that we can get through this together."

Hoax emails and social media messages have caused concern by warning recipients to collect canned food, petrol and increase security.

The messages claim there will be days of lawlessness, looting and complete chaos.

Government says these messages are absolutely untrue and are only creating paranoia.

Eskom announced on its Twitter account that stage 1 load shedding would be implemented from 6 to 10pm on Tuesday evening, blaming the power outages on the hot weather conditions.

It said more people were using fans and air conditioners with electricity demand increasing drastically.

The parasatatal urged all consumers to reduce their consumption in order to reduce the severity of load shedding.

Take a look at EWN 's feature on how to survive load shedding.

To view load shedding schedules in your area, click here.

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