South Africa: Eskom lifts electricity supply emergency

eskom22 November 2013, Johannesburg – Eskom has lifted its electricity supply emergency declaration as the system is now stable.

However, the risk of another emergency declaration remains, as the system continues to be constrained.

“Understanding the impact on our key industrial customers and the South African economy, the emergency has been lifted. The system still remains critical and we will continue to heavily rely on the partnerships we have with our customers for the necessary voluntary load reduction to keep us going,” Eskom Chief Executive Brian Dames said on Thursday.

The power parastatal on Tuesday announced its decision to declare an emergency. The decision, said Dames, was not taken lightly but it was a necessary one.

“While it was the first time we declared an emergency since 2008, we are in a much better position to manage the situation than we were back then. We now have the requisite skills, experience, knowledge, programmes and a robust risk and early warning protocol in place,” Dames said.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba expressed gratitude to South Africans for heeding the call to use electricity prudently.

“The onus is on government and Eskom to remain transparent about the system to enable South Africans to plan accordingly. I welcome the contribution of all South Africans – residential and industrial customers – and thank you for continuing to live lightly,” said Gigaba.

Since the announcement of the emergency declaration, Eskom has been working around the clock to stabilise the system and meet the demands of customers.

“While additional capacity is back online, we are managing the need for increased maintenance, diesel and water reserves at our open cycle gas turbines and pumped storage schemes respectively,” said the utility.

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