During the early days of lockdown, Eskom told South Africans that due to low demand that will be experienced during the span of the lockdown load shedding will not be a problem because there is already excess power due to industries closing their doors.
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The manufacturing industry is the biggest consumer of electricity and their temporary closure means less stress on the power grid.
Due to this decline in demand, Eskom chief executive officer Andre de Ruyter said that the average demand for electricity had declined by at least 7,500MW.
During this period of time which is unfortunate, Eskom has had the opportunity to conduct low level or short-term maintenance which would increase capacity to the power utility. However, there couldn’t be long-term heavy maintenance as the global pandemic has caused manufacturing and shipping of critical parts to be halted due to restrictions in countries where these parts are made.
“We believe that with these interventions that the likelihood of load shedding for the coming winter has been significantly reduced from our previous forecast,” said de Ruyter.
The CEO says that the maintenance and additional capacity has dropped the expected load-shedding for the next quarter to go from 31 days to just three days.
However, due to this decline in demand Eskom is projected to lose over R2.5 billion in cash generated for April according to EWN.