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SA 'nowhere close' to a total blackout, says Eskom

29 October 2021 - 16:36 By TimesLIVE
Eskom said on Friday that load-shedding would be end at 8pm on Friday, instead of 5am on Saturday. Stock photo.
Eskom said on Friday that load-shedding would be end at 8pm on Friday, instead of 5am on Saturday. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Choneschones

Load-shedding will come to an end at 8pm, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said on Friday afternoon.

This was because several of the units that had problems during the week had come back to service.

Rolling power cuts were initially expected until 5am on Saturday morning.

De Ruyter said the “outlook” showed that it was unlikely that load-shedding would be needed for next week.

On Thursday, Mike Rossouw, who previously consulted at Eskom, said in a Radio 702 interview that the parastatal was “near a total collapse”.

“I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, I see a big train coming down the tunnel at us,” Rossouw said. “We’re definitely going to have to get used to being in the dark.”

But Eskom CEO Jan Oberholzer, responding to a question from TimesLIVE during Friday's briefing, said: “We are not even close to that.”

“Sometimes I sit back and I listen to these comments and statements made by people that are not part of the organisation and not part of the team. So although I do respect some of these comments, I do not understand and I do not agree with them,” he said.

“Now we have a system operator and one of the prime functions is to ensure the integrity of our networks, or grip, at all times ... to make sure that we do not have a total collapse.”

Oberholzer said load-shedding was put in place to ensure that there was no national blackout.

“I can also assure you ... that we can implement load-shedding, we interact throughout the day, on a two or three-hour basis, to look at the system and how it's going. We are protecting the integrity [of the system], so that means if it is stage 6 or stage 8 [load-shedding], that is what we will do to make sure there is no blackout.

“We are not even close to a blackout because our system operator will elevate decisions that need to be made to ourselves well in advance to make sure that we do not have a disaster on our hands,” he said.

TimesLIVE


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