Loadshedding suspended in South Africa
Loadshedding suspended in South Africa. Photo: Eskom

Eskom is currently implementing Stage 2 loadshedding as the country’s power system remains constrained and vulnerable, and is operating with less contractors as many are affected by Covid-19.

At Medupi power station, for instance, well over half the pool of 75 contractors have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Eskom.

“Regrettably, as the return to service of some generation units has been delayed, as well as the need to manage the emergency generation reserves and identified risks to the power system, Stage 2 load-shedding will be implemented from 5am on Monday morning,” the power utility said in a statement on Sunday.

Many South Africans took to Eskom’s social media pages to complain that they were informed yesterday they would get Stage 1 loadshedding, but instead got Stage 2. Others said there was no point to the loadshedding schedule as their power was already cut hours ahead of the allotted time. Several South Africans have expressed concern at the impact this loadshedding is having on hospitals.

Eskom explained the loadshedding is continuing because: “The return to service of two generation units at Kusile power station that were not available last week has been delayed due to difficulties in restarting the units, which are now expected to return to service starting on Monday.”

Minutes ago, Eskom also informed customers in Johannesburg that it is engaging with City Power to reduce the duration of load shedding where areas in Joburg are currently experiencing 4-hour power cuts. “We hope to have an update on this change during the course of the week,” said Eskom.

Some Eskom success

Over the past 24 hours Eskom teams successfully returned a generation unit each at the Kriel, Grootvlei and Duvha power stations to service.

Eskom suffers impact of Covid-19 positive cases amongst contractors

“Despite Eskom’s stringent measures to manage the impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations, we are experiencing some impact on operations, including our suppliers,” Eskom revealed.

The Medupi power station has had 48 COVID-19 positive cases out of a pool of 75 contractors. This has negatively affected Eskom’s ability to executive work as planned.

“We currently have 6 384MW on planned maintenance, while another 13 181MW of capacity is unavailable due to unplanned maintenance, breakdowns and the outage delays. Eskom personnel are working hard to return as much of this capacity to service as soon as possible,” Eskom said.

As usual, Eskom urges the public to reduce electricity consumption in order to help minimise loadshedding.

A further update on the power situation is expected on Monday afternoon. – SAnews.gov.za