Eskom Rations South Africa’s Electricity Again, Breaking Forecast

South Africa’s state-owned power utility has reneged on its prediction that there would be only three days of electricity rationing during the nation’s winter season.

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. implemented the nationwide rotational power cuts for a fourth straight day on Monday to replenish emergency generation reserves needed during the week, the utility said on Twitter. Pump-storage plants and turbines that burn costly diesel are used to meet peak demand.

Eskom cut its forecast for the power outages from 31 days to three during the winter season that runs from June to August, after pandemic-lockdown measures lowered demand and allowed more repairs. That was welcome news for an already battered economy that’s struggling to control the virus.

Cold weather and the reopening of businesses that were shuttered during national lockdown have contributed to greater electricity demand and the utility now has a less optimistic view of its unpredictable generation fleet. “During the coming week Eskom will continue to experience supply constraints,” it said Sunday in a statement.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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