Eskom to suspend load shedding on Friday evening

Power utility Eskom says it will suspend Stage 2 load shedding at 22:00 this evening as it expects several generation units to return to service and is anticipates a drop in electricity demand during the weekend.

“These are a unit at Hendrina and two generation units each at Arnot, Duvha, Majuba and Tutuka power stations. The low weekend demand will assist in replenishing emergency reserves,” Eskom says in a statement.

Despite giving the country a break from rolling power cuts, the utility has asked consumers to use electricity sparingly as its power systems remain “constrained and volatile”.

Consumers all around the country – except for those in Durban – have been plagued with rolling blackouts since Sunday, with Eskom ramping the intensity of power cuts up to Stage 4, which saw most people out of electricity at lease three times a day. Eskom justified the need for the blackout by citing persistent rains and increased electricity demand during the Easter break.

The utility adds that it expects to tap into emergency reserves to meet next week’s electricity demand.

Providing an update on the current state of its systems, Eskom says it has 5 353 megawatts (MW) out on planned maintenance and a further 14 912MW of unavailable capacity due to breakdowns.

“Eskom would again like to apologise for the implementation of load shedding and will continue to closely monitor the power system.”