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JOHANNESBURG – Eskom said there is an 80% chance that South Africans will experience only three days of load shedding this winter.

This projection is a dramatic decrease from the over thirty days predicted earlier in the year – with COVID-19 among some of the factors contributing to the improvement.

The organisation is briefing the media on the state of the national grid.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdown appear to have provided Eskom with a bitter-sweet outcome.

While some of its operations had to be halted due to the crisis – the state-owned company said it also got an opportunity to deal with its short-term maintenance.

This could only have been implemented due to the reduced energy demand during loadshedding as some of Eskom’s major electricity consumers shut their doors.

Eskom also said this will enable its generation fleet to be better prepared when demand peaks, when the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The company has however admitted that it is still lagging with reliability maintenance which has been neglected for the past ten years leading to breakdowns.

Eskom’s chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said, “The system remains unpredictable and unreliable so we still have trips and breakdowns, and although we have predicted three days of load shedding – I need to say that the risk of load shedding remains.”

The power utility has also recorded 21 positive cases of COVID-19 among its employees – mainly in the Western Cape.

This article first appeared on EWN : Phew! Eskom says there's high chance of only 3 days of loadshedding this winter

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