For the first time since March, South Africa is to experience load-shedding. Eskom announced that Stage 2 load shedding could be implemented from 9am to 11pm today.
According to the official statement, the measure is necessary due to several reasons. The main is a broken coal conveyor belt at Medupi power station which failed last Saturday cutting the station’s power output by half. Among other causes are low dam and diesel levels as Eskom had to use pumped storage and open cycle gas turbines “extensively” to make up for the electricity shortfall.
Besides that, five electricity generating units are out of order as the boiler tubes are leaking. The planned maintenance has not yielded the expected results so far.
“Most of our power stations are in need of maintenance to improve reliability…” Eskom chairperson and acting CEO Jabu Mabuza advised. “We do our best to strike the right balance between plant maintenance and keeping the lights on.”
The customers have been advised to check their load-shedding schedules on the Eskom or municipal website and to use electricity sparingly.