World Cuppower is assured

MAPUTO - South Africa's neighbours on Monday pledged to help ensure that the country has enough electricity during the football World Cup next year, the state power company Eskom said.

MAPUTO - South Africa's neighbours on Monday pledged to help ensure that the country has enough electricity during the football World Cup next year, the state power company Eskom said.

The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) met in Maputo to discuss how the region can help make sure that South Africa does not suffer a repeat of the power cuts that crippled the country in January last year.

Eleven countries agreed to reduce pressure on the regional grid during the 2010 competition by encouraging manufacturers to slow production during peak evening periods for the games.

They also agreed to boost energy efficiency during the events and to maximise power plant production.

"We are delighted with the level of cooperation we are receiving from our SAPP counterparts," Eskom Project 2010 unit managing director Johnny Dladla said in a statement.

"This initiative confirms that the 2010 Fifa World Cup is truly an African event."

In addition to South Africa, the power pool includes Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

South Africa was early last year hit by rolling power cuts as Eskom failed to meet increasing demand for electricity.

In November last year, Eskom signed a $500million loan with the African Development Bank (ADB) to aid its expansion programme.

The company says it plans to increase its capacity to 80000 megawatts by 2026 from the current 43000 megawatts. - Sapa-AFP

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