Johannesburg – Power supply on Friday and the weekend was expected to be constrained, Eskom said on Thursday.

“We are concerned about tomorrow [Friday] and into the weekend… we must warn of a possible shortfall, but we will provide updates to the public,” spokesperson Andrew Etzinger said.

Although the system was under strain, no load shedding was planned for Thursday, he said.

Areas currently experiencing power cuts would be due to faults at a local level and not due to Eskom’s generating capacity.

Eskom resorted to nationwide load shedding mainly because of logistical challenges regarding diesel, CEO Tshediso Matona said at the utility’s interim results presentation this week.

“When we have to reduce load [through power cuts], we protect the economy and rather focus on residential sectors.

“…When we do load shed, it is out of responsibility to prevent a total blackout that could be catastrophic for the country and the region.”

A total blackout would take “weeks and weeks” to rectify, he said.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said at the presentation that Eskom and South Africa must brace themselves for tough measures in order to make the power supply sustainable.
“We have to organise the country to attack these problems… Failure is not an option,” she said at Eskom’s Megawatt Park in Johannesburg.

Eskom posted reduces profit of R9.3bn, with a projected year end profit of half a billion rand in the six months to September 30.

Municipal debt to the power producer rose to R4bn.