Massive blackouts across Joburg

Suburbs across Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub, were hit by widespread power outages on Friday that electricity providers were unable to explain.

“Technicians are on site to determine the cause of the outage,” Khulu Phasiwe, a spokesman for state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., said via Twitter. There’s no estimated time for the restoration of electricity at this stage, he said.

Eskom has not implemented rolling blackouts in the city, Andrew Etzinger, Eskom’s acting head of generation, said via a mobile phone text message. A spokesman for Johannesburg’s City Power wasn’t immediately able to comment.

Eskom said earlier on Friday that there was a risk of blackouts because the power system “remained tight and vulnerable” and the power could be cut at short notice if there was a shift in plant performance.

“This could include a significant loss in generating plant due to unplanned technical breakdowns,” Eskom said in the statement.

Now read: Eskom to hike prices on 1 April

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Massive blackouts across Joburg