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Power utility Eskom has sought to assure customers that its team of technicians are working around the clock to minimise the current electricity supply constraints.
The power utility announced stage 6 of rolling blackouts after two generation units broke down.
Eskom says the ongoing power challenges have been intensified by the need to replenish the pumped storage dams in preparation for the week ahead.
It says stage 6 load shedding will be implemented until further notice.
Saturday, 10 February 2024:
In spite of returning two generating units to service over the last 24 hours, two generating units were also taken offline. This combined with the need to replenish the pumped storage dams in preparation for the week ahead,…
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) February 9, 2024
This week’s rolling blackouts come a few days after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pronouncement in his 2024 State of the Nations Address that the end of rolling blackouts was in sight.
The Eskom spokesperson, Daphne Mokoena, says, “In spite of returning two generating units to service over the last 24 hours, two generating units were also taken offline. This, combined with the need to replenish the pumped storage dams in preparation for the week ahead, necessitated the implementation of Stage 6 load shedding from midnight until further notice. Our teams are working diligently to return the generation units back online. Eskom will communicate should any significant changes occur.”
Exact date for the end of load shedding cannot be given: Ramaphosa
Implementation of stage 6 criticised
The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) has criticised the country’s move to stage 6 of load shedding by Eskom.
The institute says it doubts that the country will see the load shedding crises resolved any time soon.
SANEDI says most of the challenges at Eskom can be attributed to an aging coal fleet that continue to operate with inconsistencies. Professor Sampson Mamphweli the SANEDI Energy Secretariat expands:
“We are looking at about a year and that is also dependent on the fixing of the coal fleet. We are sitting at about 15000 megawatts in unplanned capacity loss factor which is basically the breakdowns, so that needs to go down drastically to about 5000 megawatts or so for us to see the end of load shedding. But there are other measures that will still need to come on board, there are issues around demand side management and the energy efficiency, there are geyser control programmes that still need to come on board. NECOM has done quite a lot of work around that, government still needs to bring in money to implement those kind of programmes.”
Eskom announces stage 6 of rolling blackouts:
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)