Eskom to Implement Loadshedding
Eskom to Implement Loadshedding Photo: Pixabay

Load shedding in South Africa has been reduced to Stage 3 from this morning until 5am on Saturday morning, following the recovery of some generating units at Eskom.

The power utility says the continuation of load shedding is necessary for further replenishing of reserves.

Some 6 647MW is currently unavailable due to planned maintenance with a further 14 692MW of capacity offline due to breakdowns.

“The continued load shedding is necessary due to the shortage of generation capacity as a result of persistent high levels of breakdowns, and to further replenish the emergency generation reserves.

“A generating unit each at Hendrina, Kendal and Majuba power stations were taken offline for repairs. Furthermore, the delay in returning a generating unit each to service at Kendal, Komati and Tutuka power stations have added to the capacity constraints,” Eskom said in a statement.

Various stages of load shedding have been persistently implemented for the better part of the last three weeks following multiple breakdowns at Eskom’s power stations.

The power utility said however that some recovery has been made.

“A generation unit each at Arnot, Kriel, Lethabo, Matla [power stations] as well as two units at Camden Power Station have returned to service since last night.

“Eskom apologises for the continued and unfortunate load shedding, which is implemented only as a last resort in view of the shortage of generation capacity and the need to attend to breakdowns,” the power utility said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Department of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan slammed what he called “active efforts to disrupt operations” at some of the power utility’s power stations.

“At some of the power stations, there’s a deliberate climate of resistance to better performance, to making sure that the right kind of operations are undertaken and even experienced operators appear to deliberately make sure that there is malfunction of key parts of a power station,” he said.

The Minister added that the power utility’s new board will have to look into those matters and that further steps must be taken.

“The time has come where everyone at Eskom – whether they are at the management level or whether they are at the operational floor – [realise] that what they do and what they don’t do and the level of application that they demonstrate…makes a huge difference to the economy, to investment in South Africa and to ensuring that there’s greater confidence in the economy and the country as well.

“We cannot have on the one hand, where there are people who stand on platforms and demand growth and jobs and on the other hand, members of those organisations appear to do things to undermine the efforts that are currently being made,” he said. –