Johannesburg – The power grid was constrained, but stable on Monday after a spike in electricity usage as people returned from holiday, Eskom said.

“We are seeing a lot of demand, but we are able to supply. The risk of load shedding is low to medium,” said spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.

“If things continue to go as they are, we are likely to go through this week without load shedding. We ask people to use electricity sparingly.”

He said there had been an average daily electricity demand of 25 000MW since the start of the holidays, but this had now risen to
30 000MW.

Planned maintenance

On 29 December, the capacity available to meet the evening’s peak demand was 30 094MW (including open cycle gas turbines) with demand of 26 291MW forecast.

Eskom said it expected 5 771MW of outages because of planned maintenance and 8 029MW of unplanned outages.

It called on people to reduce demand by 10% during the day to help it conduct planned maintenance.

Eskom implemented stage three blackouts on 5 December.

Stage one allows for up to 1 000MW of the national load to be shed, stage two for up to 2 000MW and stage three for up to 4 000MW.

Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona denied that Eskom was in crisis on 8 December.