Eskom recently announced that it would implement Stage 2 load shedding from Thursday right through until Sunday. Yes, you read it right.
Eskom announced on Thursday morning that Stage 2 load shedding would be implemented starting at 12:00 on that very afternoon. It would then continue through to Sunday 17 January 2021 until 23:00. That’s essentially four days of power cuts.
Why you ask? Eskom said; “the load shedding is necessary due to loss of generation capacity overnight. Load shedding is also required to manage the use of the emergency reserves, which will help us contain the stage of load shedding required.”
To add insult to injury, the system remains vulnerable and unpredictable and should any further breakdowns occur, the stage of load shedding may change at short notice.
“Two generation units at the Kusile Power Station tripped due to the failure of the main coal feed conveyor belts supplying coal to the units. In addition, a unit each at the Kriel and Duvha tripped due to unforeseen breakdowns. We presently have four generation units whose return to service from planned maintenance has been delayed,” Eskom said in a statement.
The power utility currently has 5 358MW on planned maintenance, while another 14 748MW of capacity is unavailable due to unplanned maintenance, breakdowns and the outage delays mentioned above. During the first week of January, a significant leak was also reported at Koeberg Unit 1 which ultimately led to the unit being taken offline for repairs.
“Eskom personnel are working tirelessly to return as much of this capacity to service as soon as possible. Eskom would like to urge the public to reduce electricity consumption in order to help us minimize load shedding,” it added.
The embattled power utility said it would communicate timeously should there be any significant changes to the power system. Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen aired his frustrations with one quote from President Cyril Ramaphosa.