Eskom warns SA to be ready for power cuts if unexpected breakdowns happen

Eskom says it will have to review a decision to halt load shedding for a month if there are any more unexpected breakdowns at its power stations this festive season.

FILE: Eskom's Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom says it will have to review a decision to halt load shedding for a month if there are any more unexpected breakdowns at its power stations this festive season.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan promised last week that they were working towards no load shedding from this coming Saturday until 15 January.

But Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says if there are more unexpected breakdowns at power stations, South Africans may have to prepare for a festive season without lights.

“If there’s going to be any review, then management and the minister or the executives themselves will have to make a call on this one.

“So far, the plans still stand that the technicians who are working on it have to make sure that they keep the promise that the minister made.”

Meanwhile, security company ADT has told Eyewitness News its already seen a 25% spike in crime targeted at homes and businesses related to load shedding.

Private security and insurance companies, as well as the police, are making provisions to minimise the impact that crime will have on citizens during this festive season especially as more South Africans become a target of criminals during load shedding.

Figures show that crime spikes every year over the December period, but this year it is expected to be even worse as the country experiences occasional blackouts.

ADT Security's Leon Muller says they are sending more vehicles to specific areas based on the load shedding schedules released by Eskom.

“Likely we do get the schedule so we can plan ahead as well. So, there’s a lot of planning that goes with it.”

Meanwhile, Hollard Insurance's Danny Joffe has advised holidaymakers to ensure their backup batteries for electric gates and security systems are fully charged in the event of load shedding.

“Not just for the insurance company but on safety obviously.”

National police say they will also be deploying officers to areas where communities need more visible policing during load shedding.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)