Mon. May 20th, 2019

Load shedding: “We will assist if asked” – Eskom opens doors for Zimbabwe

eskom load sheddingThe power utility empathised with Zimbabwe’s latest plight.

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Eskom has stated its intentions to assist Zimbabwe after their government was forced to institute load shedding this week.

As reported by EWN, Naresh Singh, the acting general manager for Africa strategy at Eskom confirmed that because Zimbabwe was a client of theirs, they were obliged to assist if the request was made.

Why Zimbabwe instituted load shedding

Zimbabwe’s power utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) implemented rotational power cuts across the country in a bid to relieve the strain that is felt by the country’s power grid.

Related: Zimbabwe plunges into darkness with eight-to-ten-hour load shedding

One of its main sources of power generation, the Kariba Dam, has recorded low water levels and can barely maintain the needed outputs to generate the electricity needed to plenish the grid.

As of Tuesday, the hydroelectric power plant’s water levels sat at a worryingly low 37%.

Thus, in order for Zimbabwe’s power utility to avoid a total blackout, they have instituted a load shedding schedule that rotationally cuts power supply between 5:00 and 10:00 in the morning, and 17:00 and 22:00 in the evening.

The government, in their announcement, did warn that people ought to expect outages to stretch for eight to ten hours, or even longer “in the event of increased power shortfall to avoid the collapse of the National Electric grid.”

Eskom allows room for request to be made

Zimbabwe also gets electricity from Eskom and according to Singh, the power utility is ready to assist the embattled country where it can.

Related: Eskom: Major municipalities set for 15% hike in electricity tariffs

“They’re customers of ours and we’ve to deal with them, as we do with others, we’ve to listen to their concerns and to see whether there might be an opportunity for us to be able to assist,” he said.

The power utility has been in recovery for a while now, after seeing us through a dark Autumn, with power cuts stretching to a rumoured Stage 8 at some point.

Singh was weary of South Africa’s limitations and noted that, should the request from the neighbouring country come, Eskom would have to consider the needs of its people first before extending any assistance.

“We’ll not do that without giving due consideration to our operational capability,” he added.

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