Eskom: Load shedding outlook unpredictable

Eskom says it cannot say at this stage whether it will implement load shedding tomorrow.

An aerial view of a Johannesburg power station as seen from an aircraft on 23 June, 2010. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it cannot say at this stage whether it will implement load shedding tomorrow.

This morning the power utility implemented stage 2 load shedding across the country.

Rolling black outs are expected to continue until 10 o'clock this evening.

The utility says the grid has been under significant pressure this week and says it's working to build up diesel reserves and raise dam water levels for its gas turbines.

Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says, "Generally we are running a very old and unpredictable power system and as a result we are not in a position to say how it will look tomorrow."

LACK OF MAINTENANCE TO BLAME FOR PROBLEMS

Eskom has admitted the severe strain on the power grid is due to deferred maintenance at its power stations.

The power utility has announced it's planning stage two load shedding today between 8am and 10pm.

It says it has made serious mistakes in delaying repairs.

On Thursday night, during his State of the Nation Address (Sona), President Jacob Zuma suggested the parastatal may have acted negligently for failing to fix the broken system years ago.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe said, "As a company we've decided to no longer delay maintenance."

Meanwhile, Zuma during his Sona touched on a host of the country's problems, including the electricity crisis.

Zuma said Eskom has been directed to switch from diesel to gas as it continues to grapple with the nation's energy woes, adding that the construction of three new power stations will add 10,000 megawatts to the national grid.

The president added that government will invest R23 billion in the power utility.

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

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