Although the country has the capacity to meet the current energy demand, Cabinet has called on households and industry to do more to save energy.
“The grid has enough capacity but due to the heavy rains across the country, especially in Mpumalanga, where we source most of our coal, it has left coal stocks wet and this has put unexpected strain on our energy system, which is already close to capacity.
“We are now faced with a technicality,” Acting Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Edna Molelwa told a post Cabinet briefing on Thursday.
State-owned supplier Eskom, which produces about 85% of its electricity from coal, today started load shedding, which will affect numerous parts of the country up until about 10pm today.
Eskom had earlier declared a power emergency, where it had asked its industrial customers reduce use by 10%.
The utility will use its published load shedding schedules, which are available on the Eskom website http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za/.
“We have not received information that the cuts will have a negative (impact) on the economy… the rain will subside and we will return to normality,” said Minister Molewa.
She said in the past, load shedding was not only because of wet weather. She said different issues, like the servicing of stations and a high demand for energy by the growing economy, also played a part.
“If we all heed the call to minimise energy use, we can assist Eskom,” said the minister.
Today’s power emergency is the fourth one since November 2013.
Cabinet thanked South African corporates who implemented energy’saving initiatives, particularly when the national grid has been under pressure. – SAnews.gov.za
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