November 19 2013 at 05:41pm
Johannesburg - Eskom said it has declared an emergency after it lost generating units and asked customers to reduce usage.
“Eskom is now following the protocol in terms of its emergency procedures in order to secure the power system,” the Johannesburg-based power utility said in an e-mailed statement today.
“We have alerted our key industrial customers and have required them to reduce their load by a minimum of 10 percent.”
Eskom, which generates almost all of South Africa’s power, is spending 500 billion rand to replace aging equipment and add plants to avoid a repeat of 2008 blackouts that halted mines, including those owned by companies such as Anglo American Plc, for five days and paralysed factories.
The company, which produces about 85 percent of its power from coal, said about 27 percent of its 41,900-megawatt generating capacity was out for maintenance yesterday.