Eskom says the lights may go off tonight as a result of grid maintenance
The national power supplier, Eskom, has said the probability of load shedding is high as a result of grid maintenance scheduled for Wednesday evening.
According to Fin24, Eskom will be conducting maintenance on a number of power generating units, which may result in extra strain being put on South Africa’s electrical grid.
To alleviate this strain, the power utility may need to institute load shedding as a means of keeping the grid stable.
Load shedding due to maintenance
An official statement issued by Eskom confirms the possibility of load shedding as ‘high’, and urges citizens to use electricity sparingly:
“We encourage residents and businesses to please use electricity sparingly to ease the demand of electricity. Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.”
South Africans are advised to consult Eskom’s official website, which serves to keep the public updated on the probability of load shedding in specific municipalities.
The national power supplier has managed to keep the lights on in recent weeks, despite the looming threat of load shedding brought about by wage disputes and industrial protest action.
Eskom has been locked in a fierce wage dispute with labour unions. For three months the power utility has struggled to satisfy employee’s wage demands.
Eskom’s wage disputes set to intensify
As a result, it’s alleged that disgruntled employees have purposefully sabotaged the national power grid, which has resulted in sporadic load shedding and an ever-present possibility of further blackouts.
While it’s been reported that Eskom’s employee disputes are nearing a close, Business Day reports that fresh protests may rock the power supplier as 6,700 line managers and senior engineers, also known as the Management, Professional and Specialists (MPS) have entered the wage debate.
The Polokwane Municipality has already issued a statement, which has since been republished by Review Online, warning that all areas being supplied by the Epsilom substation will experience power cuts due to ongoing maintenance work.