Load shedding: Eskom warns of electricity cuts in January

Date: Dec 21, 2018

Eskom has warned that while the power grid is expected to remain stable over the festive season, load shedding may return in January 2019.

It’s been a torrid time for the national power utility, and, by proxy, the people of South Africa, as unexpected power plant shutdowns led to consistent rotational load shedding in the final months of 2018. Luckily for South Africans, Eskom has managed to mitigate intermittent electricity cuts over the festive season by implementing a staunch emergency contingency plan, tabled by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

A Festive Season reprieve

Gordhan’s resolution to cancel the festive season leave previously afforded to executives and plant managers at Eskom was met with a wave of public adulation. Furthermore, President Cyril Ramahosa’s recent appointment of a Sustainability Task Team to deal with Eskom’s dire operational incompetence seems to have jolted the utility into gear.

Still, the poisoned chalice of Eskom, which has been passed on from a dysfunctional regime, has the propensity to sink South Africa’s, already uneasy, economic prospects. Despite recent advancements, the embattlements facing South Africa’s power utility are far from being completely resolved.

This dubious predicament was echoed by Eskom’s CEO Phakamani Hadebe during a recent interview on 702 Talk Radio. Hadebe warned that load shedding could rear its ugly head in the new year, saying:

“From now up until 15 January, the probability of load shedding will be very minimal. As we work on the maintenance, we hope the situation will be better. But after the 15th, probably there might be stage-one load shedding that might take place.”

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