‘No load-shedding expected this weekend’: De Ruyter

Eskom has enough power reserves to ward off blackout worries ‘for now’

Gill Gifford Senior journalist
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says the country is unlikely to experience load-shedding over the weekend. File photo.
SAFRICA-ESKOM Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says the country is unlikely to experience load-shedding over the weekend. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says “at this stage” the outlook for the weekend is “good” and no load-shedding is anticipated well into next week.

Speaking at a Friday morning briefing, De Ruyter said while the load forecast for Saturday was a bit more than generation capacity, there was enough diesel generating capacity to make up for that using open-cycle gas turbines.

He said these turbines collectively used 17,000 litres of diesel per minute, but fuel stores had capacity. Though two generation units were at risk of tripping, they amounted to 900MW, which was manageable and did not pose a load-shedding threat over the coming weekend.

De Ruyter said though the weekend ahead appeared likely to be free of load-shedding, the public would be informed quickly if anything changed. In the meantime, consumers were encouraged to continue using electricity as sparingly as possible.

“We at Megawatt Park are doing our bit too. We have taken to switching off our air-conditioning systems during non-peak times and earlier than usual,” he said.

He said power station managers were working with their teams to bring back online facilities that were down.

Dismissing allegations of widespread sabotage, he said he was reluctant to “play the sabotage card”, and was attributing actions such as cable theft to criminality, and the draining of water from cooling machines to incompetence rather than malice.

He said drone cameras at night and surveillance from artificial intelligence cameras were working and had led to arrests and “are giving us better control”.

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