Eskom: Limit your power use ahead of cold weekend to avoid load shedding
Eskom is concerned that the drop in temperatures would increase electricity demand with people using power to keep warm.
CAPE TOWN - Cold weather and power plant breakdowns are creating the perfect load shedding storm.
The prognosis does not look promising for the weekend, and South Africans are being urged to limit their electricity usage.
The power utility had expressed concern that the drop in temperatures would increase electricity demand with people using power to keep warm.
On Friday it's had to implement stage 2 load shedding following several breakdowns at generating units.
Eskom last implemented load shedding in March and has introduced load reduction in areas notorious for illegal connections.
However, the localised power cuts in various provinces have not done enough to alleviate pressure on the grid.
Having conducted short-term maintenance when electricity demand was lower during the hard lockdown, Eskom was hoping for at most three days of load shedding this winter.
This forecast has been dashed by breakdowns as Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer explained: “Overnight, we have lost three units, so we started the morning under extreme pressure.”
Meanwhile, snowfall is expected on Friday tonight and Saturday over mountainous parts of the Western Cape as well as the southern parts of the Northern Cape.
There are warnings that Gauteng and the Free State will also be bitterly cold - with increased winds over the weekend.
Another cold front is expected to move in on Monday.
Forecaster Kgolofelo Mahlangu said: “Going into Sunday, it will clear a bit in the interior. However, there is another cold front approaching the Western Cape and it’s expected to result in rain in the southwestern parts of the Western Cape. But temperatures all across the country will remain quite cold.”