On Thursday, Eskom responded to media reports regarding allegations that loadshedding is a diversion, referring to the allegations as “a diversion and far from the truth”.

Eskom has been informing the public that loadshedding happens as a result of a shortage of capacity due to a number of factors, including generating units being out of service due to breakdowns, and it is implemented as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.

“We have experienced deterioration in plant performance over the past six months resulting in shortage of capacity to meet the demand in electricity, which has forced us to implement loadshedding,” the power utility said in a statement.

The company statement highlighted that: “The story questions the implementation of loadshedding while we have surplus generating capacity and a reserve margin of 23%. If one takes all power stations into account there is an operational surplus and sufficient megawatts to meet demand.

"However, due to the magnitude of units on technical breakdowns the number of megawatts to meet demand has reduced. In order to match the demand in the country loadshedding has to be implemented to balance what is available and to avoid a total collapse of the power system.”

Eskom’s recovery plan

Eskom further explained: “While we are currently implementing a short-term to medium-term recovery plan, Eskom’s challenges can only be resolved in a partnership with government, key stakeholders, and all electricity customers. Read more: Regulator gives reasons for approving Eskom’s RCA

“We are confident that we have the capacity to address these power generation challenges. South Africans can also assist us by using electricity sparingly and reducing demand throughout the day by switching off non-essential appliances and lighting.”