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  • Eveready Group

ESKOM SUSPENDS LOAD-SHEDDING

Date: 5 May 2008

Eskom is to suspend scheduled load-shedding as of today, the utility's CEO Jacob Maroga announced last week. "We are seeing evidence of increased energy savings from municipalities and Eskom is optimistic that further reductions to reach our 10% savings target are possible," said Maroga.

"We have said from the beginning that load-shedding is not our preferred option to achieve the 10% savings the nation needs. Recent savings, particularly from industry, have shown that it should be possible to achieve this objective sustainably through a concerted and committed effort by all of us," said Maroga.

"This is the spirit of Eskom's engagement with municipalities and we hope that the 10% target will be met so that it will not be necessary to reinstate scheduled load-shedding," he added.

A task team of senior Eskom executives and top officials of municipalities from around South Africa are meeting this week to discuss further energy savings to meet the national target.

The announcement regarding the suspension of load shedding has been welcomed by businesses and households, though not without some speculation at the írealí reasons for the suspension. Speaking to the Pretoria News, some experts have suggested that load shedding may have been counter-productive causing significant amounts of damage to Eskomís ageing infrastructure.

Thys Botha, an electrical engineer, said: "Oil-based circuit-breakers can get contaminated with carbon dioxide during load shedding and this can lead to an explosion when the power comes back on.

"You can't use circuit-breakers like operating switches because they weren't designed to do that."
He told the press that load shedding was never an effective and efficient relief system for the crisis facing South Africa.

Eskom has not given a clear indication as to how long the suspension will last but the utility has warned consumers that should the national grid come under unexpected pressure, there may be occasions where brief periods of power cuts could be required.

Businesses and households are urged to continue their energy-conserving efforts, so as to prolong the suspension of the power outages.

www.sagoodnews.co.za
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