Eskom has told municipalities to brace for load-shedding, says DA's Mazzone

The DA says Eskom has warned municipalities to prepare for load-shedding from the end of September.
The DA says Eskom has warned municipalities to prepare for load-shedding from the end of September.
Image: Gallo Images. File photo

Eskom has told municipalities there is a strong possibility of load-shedding from the end of September and throughout October, says the DA.

The opposition party’s public enterprises spokesperson, Natasha Mazzone, has written to Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza asking him to confirm that the utility has issued a warning to municipalities.

Her letter on Tuesday asked Mabuza for confirmation within 24 hours. When it failed to arrive, she issued a statement on Thursday saying Eskom seemed “yet again set to fail millions of South Africans and the country’s already weak economy, by not generating enough energy”.

Mazzone added: “This new threat of impending blackouts in municipalities makes it clear that the much talked about recovery plans have amounted to nothing.”

A month ago, Eskom board member Nelisiwe Magubane said an acceleration in economic growth could trigger power cuts.

Energy expert Chris Yelland said the warning by Magubane needed to be taken seriously.

“I don’t think it’s a trivial statement. She happens to be a board member who is an electrical engineer and the former DG of the department of energy.

“She was making the point that there is a thin line between supply and demand at the moment. Any increase in economic growth could push us over the thin line between supply and demand,” Yelland said.

Another energy expert, Ted Blom, said at the time that Eskom should consider hiring gas turbines, which could be up and running in 45 to 60 days, and could supply an additional 5GW of power to the grid.

However, Eskom said there was no cause for alarm, despite admitting earlier this year that its generation system was not operating optimally.


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