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Eskom expects ‘moderate’ risk of power cuts Friday

After the return of units under repair.

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said it expects a “moderate” risk of power cuts Friday after the return of units under repair.

“Our projection risk of loadshedding is moderate today and low over the weekend,” Khulu Phasiwe, a spokesman for the utility, said by phone, referring to the local term for rolling blackouts. Some units have been brought back online, easing the thin margin between supply and demand, he said.

Eskom is struggling to meet demand after South Africa failed to adequately invest in generation in the 20 years following the country’s first democratic elections and kept ageing plants running beyond maintenance cycles.

“We are operating an unreliable power system,” Phasiwe said. If all generation continues operating optimally, the risk of cuts will remain low through the weekend, when there is a traditional decline in demand, he said.

©2015 Bloomberg News

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