Eskom has warned South Africans that its grid is under immense strain and could be forced to implement Stage 1 or Stage 2 load-shedding at the last minute.
“While no loadshedding is anticipated at this point, Eskom could be forced to implement Stage 1 or, if necessary, Stage 2 loadshedding at short notice should any further breakdowns occur. This is most likely to occur between 17:00 and 22:00 in the evening,” said spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
“Breakdowns currently total 14 235MW of capacity, while another 1 273MW of capacity is unavailable due to planned maintenance. Eskom is working hard to return more generators to service”
Eskom has once again pleaded with its customers to use electricity sparingly, as its generation capacity remains limited, largely due to the high demand in winter.
“While we do not anticipate to implement loadshedding at this point, Eskom would like to urge the public to reduce the usage of electricity as the power system is under severe strain due to the shortage of generation capacity and high winter demand,” Mantshantsha added.
For now, load-shedding is here to stay, at least until the end of winter. Added onto that is the fact that a unit at Eskom’s Koeberg power station is yet to fully return to service. South Africans in general have voiced their anger over the bouts of load-shedding, particularly during the cold weather.
Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter has since apologised for the power cuts and maintains that they are attending to the electricity crisis.
“We’re working hard at catching up on maintenance that has been deferred and postponed. When I assumed my role in January last year, we communicated that during the so-called reliability recovery programme there would be an increase in the risk of load-shedding while we do this maintenance,” he said at the time.