- Eskom announced earlier on Friday that the current load shedding schedule will end tonight
- The national power generator's COO Jan Oberholzer noted an improvement in generation capacity
- Despite the about-turn, social media lit up as South Africans took digs at the entity and its management
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JOHANNESBURG - The current load shedding cycle will be halted at 8 pm on Friday, less than 12 hours earlier than the initial timeline given, Eskom announced this afternoon.
On Wednesday, the power utility announced the implementation of Stage 4 electricity cuts at short notice before later confirming its plan to downgrade to Stage 3 load shedding until Friday.
However, it seems the blackouts will not persist beyond this evening. In an earlier virtual media briefing, Jan Oberholzer, Eskom's Chief Operating Officer, noted an improvement in generation capacity.
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The COO added the elections on Monday, including the counting process that follows is expected to go ahead without a hitch. But he did warn that the power system remains fragile.
Elections to go ahead without interruption
"There may be some breakdowns. We hope that the election will be free of load shedding. But we do still have some risk," Oberholzer said.
He was speaking to journalists while campaigning for the African National Congress (ANC) in Thokoza in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, ahead of the polls on Monday.
On social media, South Africans dug into Oberholzer and his entity, doing little to concede on the utility's decision to end the current load shedding cycle prematurely.
Mzansi lashes out despite cycle ending
Briefly News kept an eye on the comments to bring readers all the reactions below.
"So after that negligence what action is it going to be taken? The negligence causes the SA economy billions of dollars, there have to be harsh consequences."
"His days as COO are numbered. He contradicted leadership by denying existence of sabotage. He may be promotionally shifted to some PR corner as it happened to one Minister of Defense."
"If that is the case then it points straight to your management capabilities or lack thereof."
SAB is opting out of load shedding, plans to produce its own green electricity
In related news, Briefly News recently reported that the rolling load shedding cycle has led the liquor industry to harness its own power so it can be spared from hours of no electricity.
The company wants to reduce the load of Eskom's power grid as well as lessen CO2 emissions, according to CapeTalk. The plan was implemented in 2020 and so far, half of Castle Lite's production uses solar energy.
BusinessInsider reports that seven breweries owned by SAB already uses solar power for production.
Source: Briefly News