South Africa’s power utility company, Eskom this week cut 35 megawatts of the 300MW it supplies to Botswana and warned that it could cut the electricity exports completely depending on the situation in South Africa.
This comes at a time when Botswana is facing its worst electricity crisis ever with Botswana power Corporation forced to throw away its initial load shedding schedule and resort to wholesale black outs to address the unprecedented electricity deficit. BPC spokesperson, Spencer Moreri announced on Friday that they will not be following the normal load shedding schedule because the current electricity deficit is worse than when the schedule was initially drawn.
He stated that unscheduled load shedding will be imposed for hours longer than the usual four hours sometimes countrywide. He said if things go according to plan, the situation will only be brought under control in April. The situation may become worse before it becomes better should Eskom go ahead with its warning to switch off electricity exports to Botswana.
Eskom pulled the plug on the South African economy on Thursday as it declared an emergency, claiming that continuous heavy rains had left its coal stocks sodden. Rolling cuts to the electricity supply, the first in six years, shut shops, restaurants and factories in major cities across South Africa, and delayed flights at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.
OR Tambo airport relied on back-up power generators between 9am and 11am, causing flight delays that were cleared up by 2pm, Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, a spokeswoman for Airports Company SA, said.