No need to stick the turkey on the braai, everyone. Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe has confirmed the lights will stay on during Christmas.
Power giants Eskom have ramped up their load shedding schedule at the beginning of December, as rolling blackouts look likely to become a frequent occurrence for the first half of the month.
As we reported earlier, a severe loss of operational capacity – resulting from poor maintenance programmes – has embattled the utility while inconveniencing South African citizens and business owners.
Eskom have been very gloomy in their outlook, suggesting that power outages will be commonplace for the next couple of weeks. The constant threat of blackouts has all of a sudden got the public very worried about the holidays, and many want to know if they can get round to cooking their turkeys or if they’ll have to somehow stick them on the braai.
Eskom: Will there be load shedding at Christmas?
We took this concern to Eskom Spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe. He told thesouthafrican that people must not believe the “false information” that load shedding has already been scheduled for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. He explained that the firm does not plan load shedding so far ahead.
In fact, he stated that Eskom are only able to confirm if the power’s going out “up to two hours in advance”. However, Phasiwe did share a rather optimistic festive forecast with us, stating that we are “highly likely” to go through Christmas unscathed:
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“From 16 December, many people and industries close for the holidays. What we’ve seen over the years is that this lowers the demand for electricity and the system is much less constrained.”
Therefore, we’re highly likely to go through the holidays and right up until the second week of January without load shedding, where demand is traditionally low.”
“The expectation is that we’ll go through Christmas without any difficulties. But when schools open and businesses return to full capacity, the demand increases and it could put more pressure on us as we continue to carry out the necessary maintenance in the new year.” Khulu Phasiwe
Christmas lights: Power to the people as Eskom ease festive fears
It looks as if Eskom won’t be playing the role of The Grinch this year. Their electricity cuts may frustrate us, but at least they’re not making any plans to steal Christmas.
It’s entirely possible that Stage 2 load shedding will roll over into Tuesday as well, after coming into effect on Sunday.
This news release does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SA-news.
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