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Eskom hopes to keep lights on during Covid-19 lockdown, but no promise

25 March 2020 - 07:22 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Eskom has reminded people to turn off unnecessary appliances.
Eskom has reminded people to turn off unnecessary appliances.
Image: 123RF/bacho12345

Eskom says it cannot guarantee that there will be no load-shedding during the lockdown.

Speaking to eNCA on Wednesday morning, Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said during the past two weeks the utility had managed to bring down unplanned outages or breakdowns to an average of 11,000 megawatts.

“When the big users of electricity knock off or send their workers home, there should be a drop in demand, so during the lockdown, we do not expect to have load-shedding. We hope to continue as we have been doing at the moment.”

However, he said Eskom plants remained unreliable and vulnerable. This would not change in the next three weeks, he said.

“The reality is that we are working with old systems that cannot be relied upon.

“No-one can give you a guarantee that you will not see load-shedding,” Mantshantsha said.

The electricity utility is reminding people to switch off unnecessary lights, appliances and plug points before going to bed.

The country goes into lockdown at midnight and Thursday, until April 16.