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Eskom escalates Stage 2 load shedding to business hours

Emergency generation reserves have been depleted, forcing it to ‘implement load shedding continuously until Friday night’.
Workers in a Joburg cafe use an emergency gas-powered lamp to illuminate the kitchen as load shedding stopped their electricity supply. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South Africans and business owners are set to get even more grumpy and frustrated amid the coldest week thus far this year, with Eskom announcing on Tuesday night that Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 10h00 on Wednesday morning until 22h00 on Friday.

This represents the escalation of load shedding into the main business hours of the day, as the state power utility is struggling with further breakdowns and a spike in demand on the back of the cold front gripping most of the country.

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Eskom started Stage 2 load shedding on Monday, but kept it to after 16h00 into the early hours of the morning. While this was during the peak evening demand times, it essentially avoided power cuts during business hours.

Now load shedding has been extended to daytime as well as the evenings, highlighting the pressure placed on the power grid.

Eskom blamed the intensified load shedding on “further breakdowns of generating units at Majuba and Arnot Power Stations [on Tuesday], as well delays in returning units to service at Arnot and Tutuka Power Stations”.

“The emergency generation reserves have been used extensively in the past days to avoid load shedding during the day. This has resulted in these being depleted, reducing available capacity,” the utility said.

“It is, therefore, necessary to implement load shedding continuously until Friday night at 22:00 in order to replenish the emergency reserves,” Eskom added.

“Breakdowns currently total 13 601MW of capacity, while another 1 330MW is unavailable due to planned maintenance. Eskom teams are working hard to return generation units to service, as well as to replenish the emergency reserves,” it stressed.

Read: Why load shedding is set to continue for the next five years

As normal, Eskom reiterated its appeal to the public to reduce the usage of electricity so as “to assist the country to get through these capacity constraints”.

The utility said that it will communicate promptly should there be any significant changes to the system.

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These “breakdowns” are a direct result of the incompetence of staff and management to keep the plants going.

Age is NOT the issue — Maintenance is!!!!

Maintenance is not a word the cadres understand, either at national, provincial or local level!

Eish!

Typical Africa so let out to randomness of nature

and with no grip on forces westerners contained centuries ago including wear and tear

This started in 2008! 13 years later not much has improved. 13 years of stealing

Eskom, despite having 50 000 employees, outsources basic maintenance.

Every time a unit or a conveyor belt “breaks down”, a toilet gets clogged or someone spills a cup of tea there is an opportunity for a connected crony company to do “maintenance”.

There are enormous incentives for things to go wrong.

Municipalities ignore water infrastructure; Prasa allows train burning; someone working in a public building sneezes, satisfied that there is a cadre waiting in the wings with a water tanker or a security outfit or deep cleaning contract.

On such a beautiful sunny day as well! I have noticed that after a cold front has passed and the air is clean and cold, I get exceptional solar production from my panels.
Its a pity that the rest of the country can’t take advantage of that and are dependent of a dinosaur utility burning compressed dinosaur food.

Still the fault of the Guptas?

Nee man- dis alles Jan se skuld.Domkop.

At least there is maintenance being done even if it’s 15 years late. André de Ruyter warned that we will have load shedding while critical maintenance is being done. Hopefully the short term pain we are experiencing now will eliminate load shedding in future. Let’s hope.

Without a significant increase of modern, well-designed generating capacity combined with a strategy of replcement of the existing units there can be no hope of improvement. The adoption of breakdown maintenance without any other stategy is pure suicide. This is where we are, over the edge of sustainability and into systemic collapse. There is still no viable long-term plan.

Well, I hope you are right, however there is also the paramount issue of the here and now. Businesses cannot function on future promises, we need things to work today to be able to generate work and pay our staff and our suppliers.
South African entrepreneurs are faced with a myriad of issues to stay in business, constant loadshedding should not be another one.

End of comments.

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