Eskom has announced via Twitter that it has implemented stage 1 loadshedding today.
The tweet stated:
"Eskom has started load shedding in stage 1 as of 11:05."
"Due to the electricity demand that has exceeded the supply; Eskom implemented load shedding Stage 1 from 11:00 until 22:00 tonight."
"We would like to appeal to customers to reduce their electricity usage as much as they can, as it will ease the pressure on the system."
Find your loadshedding schedule here:
Fin24 reports that the parastatal has said its financial difficulties are partly to blame for the loadshedding.
Asked if the loadshedding was a result of financial issues spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said.
"Partly, I would say yes … We need money to buy parts for the maintenance, but that is not the only reason. Maintenance in the previous years, from about 2010, has been deferred."
"Eskom does have financial issues. It is true that we are having financial crunch and we are currently in discussion with government to get us out of this financial difficulty," spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said.
"Last year we indicated that we need R50bn in terms of the work we are doing. For operational issues."
Phasiwe said that the government had suggested it would provide the utility with a cash injection of R20bn to help with operational issues, but this wouldn’t be sufficient. He continued to say that Eskom is working on other options to complete construction at Medupi, Kusile and Ingula power stations.
Phasiwe said Eskom had already issued bonds in both local and international markets and had approached other institutions for funds.
Eskom has already borrowed from both the European and African Development banks.
"We need money to make sure that we finish the projects we are currently busy building," he said.
Mail and Guardian reported that the utility is a mere 21 days from going broke. Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown confirmed the "pressure on the company's liquidity position."
"Eskom will run out of money by the end of January," she was quoted as saying. "It must still be addressed."
By Jenni McCann