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The high number of plant breakdowns of Eskom equipment over the holidays is an indication that load-shedding will resume as demand normalises in mid-January.

With demand about 4,000MW lower than normal, Eskom has got by without the need to drop customers from the grid since mid-December. But unplanned breakdowns have been far higher than Eskom’s desirable threshold of 9,500MW, with the result that when demand rises, there will be little, if any, reserve margin to speak of...

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