2,000 megawatts to prevent World Cup blackouts

CAPE TOWN - South Africa plans to secure a a buffer of 2,000 megawatts to ensure a blackout-free World Cup next year, a senior official at state-owned utility Eskom said on Thursday. Johnny Dladla, the head of Eskom's World Cup unit, said the utility has also enlisted the help of its neighbours, which agreed to have an additional 700 MW on stand-by. "We are planning for 2,000 MW as a cushion from South Africa itself, we have overly prepared and are comfortable with all the preparations we have done, but we are still very nervous," Dladla told Reuters on the sidelines of a power conference. Eskom has struggled to meet rising electricity demand in Africa's biggest economy since early last year, owing to a lack of investment in new power generation capacity. But the government and the utility have insisted that there will be no blackouts during the world's biggest soccer bonanza.