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VENTURES AFRICA – Eskom Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s Electricity Company has lifted the emergency notice it issued on Tuesday, as power stations improved performance while large electricity consumers reduced demand.
“Our generation plants have steadily improved performance, and that means the supply situation is more favourable now than it was on Tuesday,” Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger said in an interview.
Eskom, which generates 95 percent of the South Africa’s electricity, had asked large electricity consumers — industrial and mining companies — to reduce their demand by at least 10 percent till November 29, as demand exceeded supply, putting the national grid at risk of failure, South Africa’s BDlive reported.
The company’s largest clients however said they were under no obligation to heed the power utility’s instruction, raising the risk of scheduled blackouts amid supply constraints.
For now, Eskom said it is spending 500 billion rand ($49 billion) 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 (AAL) and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG), for five days and paralyzed factories in the continent’s biggest economy.