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Eskom: SA will not be in the dark this winter

The parastatal has been flipping the switch over the past few months as it battles to keep up with demand.

FILE: Eskom has assured South Africans that the lights will stay on this winter with nearly 2,000 megawatts expected to come online next month. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Eskom has assured South Africans that the lights will stay on this winter with nearly 2,000 megawatts expected to come online next month.

The parastatal has been flipping the switch on a regular basis over the past few months as it battles to keep up with demand amid crucial maintenance.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 15th African Utility Week at the Cape Town Convention Centre on Tuesday, Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the power utility will do everything possible to avoid load shedding during winter.

"The Koeberg Nuclear Power Station which has been offline for maintenance since February will start pumping 930 megawatts into the grid later this month."

Phasiwe said they're also expecting another 800 megawatts from Medupi Power Station to come online next month.

"Our engineers are relatively comfortable that we will be able to do all the maintenance that we need to do so by winter we are having most of our generators operating optimally so that we avoid load shedding."

Phasiwe said power cuts can be avoided altogether if the power utility can secure an additional 2,000 megawatts.

But despite Eskom's desperate attempts to keep the lights on, further rolling blackouts are expected this week.

Electricity demand is increasing in the evenings as winter draws closer.

Phasiwe said, "The likelihood is that we are likely to have load shedding for the duration of this week, possibly including the weekends as well. One you start using the generators early by the middle of the week you have used half of it [power] or all of it."

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