Eskom believes it may not have to implement power cuts during the 21-day lockdown as it has noticed a marked decrease in demand on the national power grid. The decrease was first detected last night [March 26], just before the national lockdown was instated.
While pressure on the grid will not be the problem, the power utility has warned its consumers that ongoing maintenance work may disrupt the flow of power to homes across the country. It has also started taking some generation units across the grid to protect its systems’ integrity.
Unplanned outages have decreased to below 9 500MW to ensure no load shedding takes place during the lockdown period.
“Eskom has had to postpone the philosophy maintenance for the duration of the lockdown, as we have to keep the number of workers on site at a minimum,” it said in a statement. “We have instead shifted the focus to carrying out short-term maintenance and other repairs in order to optimise the generating unity to meet demand after the lockdown.”
“Eskom advises that as an essential and critical services provider, some of its personnel are exempt from the provisions of the lockdown. As such, we do not expect any impediments to the generation and supply of electricity during this period,” it added. “Our suppliers, particularly the coal mines, logistics suppliers and those supplying the parts and maintenance services at our power stations, will be able to operate during the lockdown.”