Eskom on Friday announced some weekend relief from prolonged power cuts, saying load-shedding will be lowered to Stage 2 late at night on Saturday and Sunday.
“Due to lower than anticipated demand, load-shedding will continue to be implemented at Stage 4 until 22:00 tonight, (previously Stage 6)” said Eskom in a statement.
“Load-shedding will then be lowered to Stage 2 until 07:00 on Saturday morning.
“Stage 4 load-shedding will then be implemented at 07:00 – 22:00 on both Saturday and Sunday.”
Eskom said between 22:00 – 07:00 on Saturday and Sunday load-shedding will be at Stage 2.
Eskom cautioned the small reprieve was due to lower than anticipated demand during the weekend and continues to evaluate the situation and closely monitor the system.
“We will communicate and implement any changes as may be necessary,” said Eskom.
“We currently have 3 104 MW on planned maintenance, while another 17 431 MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.
“Eskom thanks all workers who have reported for duty and who continue to perform diligently under extremely challenging conditions.”
The struggling power utility, which is in the middle of serious wage talks with unions, reminded the public that load-shedding was implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid.
This week Eskom struggled to keep the lights on amid a wild cat strike that affected the generation of electricity.
“We, therefore, urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly, especially during these uncertain times on the power system,” said Eskom, which has already overspent its budget on diesel.
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter revealed Friday that more than R1 billion was spent on diesel in June to generate electricity when coal-fired power stations experienced breakdowns.
He said R1,54 billion was spent on diesel against the budget of R700 million.
“So we spent double the allocated amount. Where we have spent so far in our financial year to date R4.14 billion versus a budget of R1,99 billion,” explained De Ruyter.