Grim outlook for load shedding

Load shedding is expected to stay at elevated levels for the foreseeable future as Eskom battles breakdowns and conducts routine summer maintenance on its ageing fleet.

The state-owned utility said on Tuesday that it will impose load shedding at stages 5 and 6 until at least Friday.

It said it had “lost” four generating units, which was contributing the current problems. There was also a need to replenish its emergency generation reserves, which had been exhausted trying to keep the power outages to a minimum.

Eskom will implement stage-5 cuts during the day (5am to 4pm) until further notice; stage-6 load shedding will take place from 4pm to 5am daily, equalling the most severe cuts the utility has officially imposed (unofficially, it has exceeded stage 6 on several occasions).

“Breakdowns are currently at 16.8GW of generating capacity, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 5GW,” Eskom said.

The intensified load shedding comes as a powerful, late-season cold front causes temperatures to plummet across most of the country, with snow reported across several provinces. The frontal system is expected to pass through quickly, according to the South African Weather Service.

“Eskom’s load for the evening peak demand is forecast to increase to 29.5GW,” the company said.  – © 2023 NewsCentral Media

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