If Eskom was expecting a fourth day of load shedding on Friday‚ it was being tight-lipped about it.
By 8.30‚ the utility had yet to announce the power outlook for the day‚ in keeping with its regularly broadcast pledge to “provide regular updates on the status of the power system through all the media platforms”.
Both of its Twitter accounts were silent with the last message referring to Thursday’s stage 1 cuts‚ which marked Eskom’s third consecutive day of outages.
Eskom attributed this week’s power interruptions to “increased electricity demand and a shortage of generation capacity resulting from low diesel levels at our open cycle gas turbines”‚ as well as cold weather conditions across the country.
With the mercury dropping across South Africa‚ load shedding over the weekend is highly probable.
In other outage news this week‚ Eskom boasted of progress in its “effort to curb the non-payment of electricity by several municipalities”.
“Eskom had earlier notified defaulting municipalities and their electricity customers that should payment plans not be signed and honoured‚ their electricity supply would be interrupted during the morning and evening peak periods from 5 June‚” an Eskom statement said.
“Most of the municipalities now have payment plans in place. These municipalities will only have their power supply interrupted should payment plans not be honoured and only if absolutely necessary‚” it read.
Five municipalities were named as facing “interruptions” as they had payment plans but were not honouring them. The were Ditsobotla and Madibeng in the North West; Makana in the Eastern Cape; and the Free State’s Dihlabeng Nketoana and Nala.
The Free State’s Ngwathe municipality was reported as having no payment plan and facing interruptions.