Cold weather won’t bring load shedding

Load shedding is only implemented in the event that there is a major breakdown of generators at the country’s power stations, and not necessarily due to cold weather, Eskom said yesterday.

This as the South African weather services is forecasting even colder weather conditions from today, going into the weekend. According to Eskom’s spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe, the last 26 days have been rather good as the power utility did not implement load shedding.

“Should we not experience major breakdowns, there won’t be a need for load shedding.

“There were also talks that the country would be in chaos after Koeberg’s unit 2 was taken offline for maintenance purpose, but we had prepared for this unit to be taken offline and have put in place contingency plans,” said Phasiwe.

Medupi’s first unit, unit 6, which generates 800 MW, was officially opened by President Jacob Zuma last week on Sunday, describing it as a sign that there was “light at the end of the tunnel”. Phasiwe urged customers to continue using electricity sparingly.

Meanwhile, forecaster Madimetja Thema said the cold conditions were as a result of a cutof-low pressure system, which is expected to also bring along cloudy and rainy conditions in several parts of the country.

In Gauteng, residents should brace themselves for cold conditions tomorrow, as temperatures in Vereeniging are set to peak at highs of only 11 degrees Celsius. Johannesburg’s maximum temperatures are expected to drop to 13 degrees Celsius, while Pretoria will peak at 14 degrees Celsius.

“We are only expecting a slight improvement in temperatures on Sunday. In terms of rainfall, we are expecting a 30% chance of rain for Gauteng today, but 60% for Pretoria and 80% for the whole province tomorrow.

“KwaZulu-Natal residents can expect cloudy and cool conditions today, but warm conditions are on the cards tomorrow. Only light showers are expected this morning along the the coastal areas,” Thema said.

He said it was not unusual to still experience cold conditions at this time of the year.

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