Eskom throws the switch on a Saturday of load-shedding
Stage 1 load-shedding will take place from 9am to 10pm on Saturday, Eskom said.
The power utility said load-shedding was needed "as we conserve and build reserves for the week ahead and give our maintenance teams space to bring generating units back online".
On Thursday, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said Eskom management would work throughout the festive season to resolve operational problems at the power utility.
Senior management’s leave had been cancelled, and they would be deployed to different power stations to assess the issues on the ground.
“Part of the assessment that they need to make is the level of skill that is there on the ground. There are excellent people who might be sitting here at Megawatt Park [Eskom’s headquarters] who have good skills and they are sitting behind a desk and operating a computer,” Gordhan told a news conference.
He said Eskom was in “emergency mode”, with the objective of avoiding stage 2 loadshedding. Power cuts were not expected between December 15 and January 15, he said.
Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza said inadequate maintenance of power plants had contributed to the crisis.
“We did not maintain like we should have maintained. Like all mechanical stuff, if you don't maintain it, it is subject to wear and tear.”