Eskom: DA is mistaken, we are not planning load shedding

(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)
(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Eskom is not planning load shedding in September and October, the power utility said in a statement on Thursday. 

It issued the statement in response to allegations by opposition party the Democratic Alliance that municipalities had been warned about the possibility of imminent rolling blackouts. In a statement, the party claimed to have received "reliable information".

DA spokesperson on public enterprises Natasha Mazzone had said the party wrote to Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza asking for clarification on the matter. 

In its statement on Thursday, Eskom said it "would like to assure its customers that there is no planned load shedding expected in September or October as indicated by the Democratic Alliance". 

"We have not communicated to any stakeholder that there will be load shedding," it added. 

"The risk, however, remains, as the system is still tight and vulnerable as we ramp up plant maintenance."

Early this month, Eskom said it will attempt to avoid load shedding in the coming summer months, but warned that plant maintenance which often takes place during the summer time may trigger outages. The company late last year implemented load shedding, as it battled low coal stockpiles and systems breakdown. Interruptions were again experienced at the beginning of this year. 

Government has announced a plan to split the debt-ridden company into three entities, in a bid to improve efficiency. Eskom supplies about 95% of the country's electricity, and is struggling with a R440bn debt.

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