Cape Town - Opposition parties have questioned the timing of Eskom's maintenance schedule, with some saying it could be a malicious act in response to the public's objection to rate hikes, eNCA reported.
Eskom's management appeared before Parliament’s public enterprises portfolio committee and said the maintenance is an urgent requirement.
It announced that there would be a planned maintenance programme for work to be done at nine of its power stations.
However, with winter looming, some opposition parties have expressed concern.
"Why wasn't maintenance carried out in summer time?", DA shadow minister for public enterprises Natasha Michael told the news channel.
"Why do you conduct your maintenance in winter and at night?", said Cope MP Mlindi Nhanha.
"I might be wrong chair but I'm beginning to suspect... could it be a question of Eskom trying to hit back at consumers for having objected to their increase", he added.
Chief executive Brian Dames said that the power utility is doing everything to avoid the type of load shedding that left most of the country in the dark in 2008.
On Monday Eskom said that it may introduce rolling blackouts in winter to prevent damaging the economy, but it will try to avoid such a situation at all costs.
Eskom provides 95% of the country's power and has been walking a tightrope for five years as it attempts to bring long overdue new power plants online.
Construction of the coal-fired Medupi power station is expected to be completed by the end of this year, while Kusile is due to come on line next year.
Eskom has also made repeated calls for South Africans to reduce their electricity consumption during peak hours.
Click here to learn how to conserve electricity.
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