VAAL TRIANGLE - Residents and businesses in the Vaal and across the country have been urged to use electricity sparingly as Eskom battles to bring a coal supply shortage under control. Eskom says while load shedding is unlikely to take place this week, the festive season may bring about power outages depending on usage. This after the power utility implemented emergency stage-one load shedding on Sunday, confirming that some of its power stations have less than 10 days of coal stocks. The utility spokesperson Dikatso Mothae said they just ask that customers use electricity sparingly throughout the day but more especially over the evening peak from about 17:00 until 21:00 in the evening. Mothae said that will also help Eskom to limit the need to load shed.
Meanwhile, energy expert Ted Blom says the scale of Eskom’s supply, financial and equipment problems may result in it shutting down before the end of the financial year. Blom says Eskom is struggling with high debt levels and will need to spend another 1.5 billion-Rands at its two new coal-fired plants that are already over budget and behind schedule.