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Eskom cuts off reports of two-week blackout

Eskom conducted a test to see if the national grid could function in the event of a worst case scenario.

FILE: Eskom conducted a test to see if the national grid could function in the event of a worst case scenario. Picture: Free Images

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom on Monday rubbished claims that it's preparing for a looming national blackout after weekend reports suggested the utility is bracing itself for a two-week power outage.

Last week, Eskom conducted a test, code-named 'Exercise Breaking Dawn', to see if the national grid could function in the event of a worst case scenario regarding generating capacity.

Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the utility is simply doing checks.

"Yes. Eskom did conduct a simulation exercise and it was not an indication of anything going wrong it was part of our licence conditioning under the grid code and also disaster management. Eskom is mandated by the law to conduct this kind of exercise."

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA's) reiterated government needs to be more open about the state of Eskom.

It's asked Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to present Parliament with a comprehensive report on the utility's maintenance needs.

The DA's Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said, "It was requested that we in fact get this information that the deputy president be frank with the nation to where the nature of Eskom is, declare it as a crisis so that we are able to create a plan so that the economy is not held for ransom by Eskom."

Last week, stage two load shedding was implemented and power cuts plunged parts of the country into darkness as generators struggled to keep up with demand.

The situation was also exacerbated by a one-day stay away at the Medupi Power Station by contract workers at the Lephalale construction site.

Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown, told Parliament that the power cuts are costing the South African economy almost R90 billion a month.

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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