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Eskom has come out to defend load shedding following a social media outcry noting that the power cuts were just a diversion.

According to the utility load shedding is nothing more than a means to protect the national electricity system.

In statement released on Tuesday Eskom said that stories in the media and on social platforms regarding allegations that load shedding was a diversion, was itself a diversion and far from the truth.

Deterioration in plant performance

“Eskom has consistently informed the public that load shedding happens as a result of a shortage of capacity due to a number of factors, including generating units being out of service due to breakdowns, and it is implemented as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout, the utility noted.

“We have experienced deterioration in plant performance over the past six months resulting in shortage of capacity to meet the demand in electricity which has forced us to implement load shedding,” it added.

Reduced capacity to meet demand

Eskom further explained that while the story questions the implementation of load shedding and points out that we have surplus generating capacity and a reserve margin of 23% among other things it does not account for the magnitude of units on technical breakdowns which reduces the number of megawatts to meet demand.

“In order to match the demand in the country load shedding has to be implemented to balance what is available and to avoid a total collapse of the power system,” the utility urged.

Capacity to address challenges

“While we are currently implementing a short-term to medium term recovery plan, Eskom’s challenges can only be resolved in a partnership with government, key stakeholders, and all electricity customers.

“We are confident that we have the capacity to address these power generation challenges. South Africans can also assist us by using electricity sparingly and reducing demand throughout the day by switching off non-essential appliances and lighting,” Eskom concluded.

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