Eskom denies DA claim of planned load shedding – but ‘system remains tight’

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State power utility Eskom has denied claims that it is planning to implement load shedding in September and October.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) claimed on Thursday that Eskom had informed municipalities of a “strong possibility” of planned outages.

DA’s shadow public enterprises minister made the claim in a statement, accusing Eskom of posing a risk to the economy.

‘No planned load shedding’

However, the power utility issued a statement late on Thursday rebutting Mazzone’s claim.

It said, “We have not communicated to any stakeholder that there will be load shedding.”

It emphasised that its summer plan, which it communicated on 4 September and made no mention of load shedding, remains in place.

Nevertheless, Eskom conceded that there is still a risk.

While no load shedding is expected over summer, the risk however remains as the system is still tight and vulnerable, as we ramp up plant maintenance.

Eskom

It encouraged South Africans to use electricity sparingly to reduce demand.

Economic growth and load shedding

Load shedding earlier this year was a major cause of the 3.2% contraction in the economy in the first quarter.

While the economy recovered in the second quarter, Eskom board member Nelisiwe Magubane sounded a warning about the fine balance between growth and load shedding.

Speaking in August, she said economic growth could trigger power outages because of increased demand.

Even a 0.1% rise in GDP could spark outages, she said.

This is because Eskom’s generation fleet is at 69% availability as compared to an optimal 80%.

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