- Eskom says that there will indeed be load-shedding during SA's winter period
- The power utility has been carrying out maintenance work during the lockdown
- Nevertheless, citizens can still expect 'only' three days of Stage 1 outages
Eskom has announced that there will 'only' be three days of Stage 1 load-shedding this winter.
eNCA reports the Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer confirmed that the power utility has been making the most of the lockdown period with most factories shutting down due to Covid-19.
Despite the unexpected break, the system remains vulnerable and citizens were urged to use electricity sparingly:
"Before we had the lockdown, we forecasted 31 days of load-shedding, so what has helped us the last eight weeks, doing these urgent short term maintenances, when we ran the model again, we are now forecasting three-days of stage one load-shedding over a winter period that is coming. That is based on an 80-percent probability."
With the utility working on maintenance that during this time, Oberholzer warns that the system is still unpredictable and unreliable.
With the possibility of trips and breakdowns in this system remaining high, Oberholzer cautioned that the risk of further load-shedding remains a possibility.
Eskom is hoping to reduce its crippling debt burden by R200 billion, nearly half of the R450 billion the utility currently owes.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that 60 former Eskom engineers are volunteering to help rebuild the embattled power utility for free.
Sikonathi Mantshantsha, Eskom spokesperson, said that Eskom had not approached the group but they had offered to help.
“It’s different people with different skills. Eskom will look at their CVs individually and make a decision if their particular skills are needed,” he said.
A meeting was held in which the engineers offered to help rebuild Eksom infrastructure.
“It is important to state this was not an initiative by Eskom. It was a group of people who recently held a meeting. One of them kept a register of those who attended and sent it to Eskom together with this offer to help come back and contribute if they are needed for anything,” said Mantshantsha.
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