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Severe power rationing to continue into the new week

Electricity cuts become new norm in South Africa.
National Treasury and the department of public enterprises commit to assist Eskom in rehabilitating power stations, says Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg News

Eskom will implement stage four load shedding until at least Tuesday as the effects of the tropical cyclone in Mozambique and problems at the company’s power plants continue to put severe pressure on the national power grid.

Eskom said in a statement on Sunday evening that stage four rotational power cuts will be implemented on Monday, March 18 from 9am to 11pm “due to a shortage of capacity”. Stage two shedding is expected to continue throughout the night on Sunday and into Monday morning.

Stage four requires 4GW of power to be cut from the grid, while stage two involved removing 2GB of capacity. During stage four, only 80% of South Africa’s power demand is being met.

“Eskom’s maintenance teams are working around the clock to return generation units to the electricity system,” the company said.

In a separate statement, the department of public enterprises said its minister, Pravin Gordhan, met with the Eskom board on Sunday about the “financial and restructuring issues” confronting Eskom.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Moneyweb

“Board members and minister Gordhan were briefed over several hours about power supply shortages caused by problems with coal supply and the quality of coal provided to Eskom, low dam storage levels at hydro plants, diesel supply shortages both to the country and to Eskom, the collapse of power supply imported from Cahora Bassa due to the natural disaster in Mozambique, and a large number of tube failures and breakdowns at local coal-fired power stations”.

Tropical cyclone

“During this time, the effects of the cyclone in Mozambique and Zimbabwe that caused havoc in both countries also resulted in the collapse of transmission (lines) from Cahora Bassa and level-four load shedding,” the public enterprises department said.

“It’s clear that greater urgency needs to be applied to acquire equipment necessary for urgent maintenance. We agree with South Africans that the continuation of frequent load shedding, and, in particular, stage four load shedding, is unacceptable and disruptive to our economy,” Gordhan said in the statement.

“National Treasury and the department of public enterprises have committed to assist Eskom to fast-track, with the appropriate oversight, the procurement of essential goods and services that is required to urgently rehabilitate and repair generating units at local power stations,” the minister said.

“Closer examination is also required of the quality of coal delivered to and accepted at Eskom power stations and the further delegation of powers from Eskom’s head office to power station managers.”

A technical review team began its work last week and will intensify its review of operations at power plants this week, he said. “The team will provide important information about plant unit failures and what urgent measures can be implemented to ensure power stations operate at optimal levels.

“The South African public is requested to understand that many power stations are between 37 and 50 years old and many operate at sub-optimal levels due to their age. We have asked Eskom to work with municipalities that supply power to large industrial users and businesses to minimise the disruptive effects of load shedding for our economy.” — © 2019 NewsCentral Media

This article was originally published on TechCentral here.


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Instead of wasting R23 bil this year, can the treasury put this money in a sovereign wealth fund and go short the rand leveraged 100:1 so when we get our junk status downgrade, we’d all be feckin rich and can fix up our glorious mess and turn our generators off.

“During stage four, only 80% of South Africa’s power demand is being met…”


Stage 4 = 3 x 2.5 hour sessions = 7.5 total.

24hrs – (24 x 0.8) = 19.2 hrs and 24 – 19.2 = only 4.8 hrs.


24 – 7.5 hrs = 16.5 hrs ; 16.5 / 24 = 0.6875 = LESS THAN 70%.

This is what happens when you hand a country to those that have not invented a written language yet and expect them to do the maths…

If dropping 4GW implies that 80% of demand is met then total demand cannot be more than 20GW. But since stage two requires that 2GB is she’d, I am totally lost. How does one convert Watt to Bytes?

It is lack of attention to small details that eventually leads to total confusion.

Pok hulle Pa ne Pa?

80% is because load shedding does not effect certain very large users like mines. Eskom has to supply them uninterrupted power otherwise they have to pay serious penalty. AFAIK power to the mines was only interrupted once, about 10 years ago, even then they were given advance notice and shut down the mines for several days.

@ The Hun.

Mines get curtailed all the time. They dont get turned off entirely, but are forced to reduce usage by huge amounts. They stop all process which are done in batches, so the batch can be handled later when there is power, which obviously need to be non-essential processes, hauling ore, pumping, etc…

In my mind it makes sense, to run some quick maths, how many Millions in GDP do we loose everytime country gets loadshed? Take say 15% of that, which will produce tax, apply that number to buying some heavy power users, and turning them off permanently….

Some parts of Johannesburg had 7 hrs of continuous loadshedding yesterday. Today it increased to 9 hours continuous loadshedding. Don’t left them fool you about the cyclone in moz. Eskom’s infrastructure is dead. Medupi and Kusile is unreliable and will never operate at their business cases. Eskom’s cancer is now terminal

Agreed, turn off funds to keep building the failed mega builds. Start buying 150MW CFB units from China, within 12 months, we can have another 3GW producing to spec…

Muppets at ANC want to keep destroying RSA Inc… All it takes is a little political will.


no wonder my smart phone comes to a standstill during stage 2!

“The South African public is requested to understand that many power stations are between 37 and 50 years old and many operate at sub-optimal levels due to their age“

The SA public have understood this since 2008 – the problem is that Government and Eskom seem to have just understood.

What a joke.

“The South African public is requested to understand that the ANC has been in power for 25 years operate at sub-optimal levels due to their incompetence“

Comrade Pravin has to go. ( and the entire management team)We need someone capable of managing what is a very serious problem for this country. Next week Moodys will review the credit rating and all of this happens while the well fed minister delivers ..nothing.

Go beg American electrical Power to send in a team of their level 3 executives and we could come right

Comrades Pravin and Cyril are the epitome of Dunning Kruger and cargo cult; so clueless they don’t even know what clueless is. A fat champagne communist chemist and a half baked lawyer, ex union skull breaker (80’s AMCU type leader) and BEE billionaire recipient making him think he’s a business genius. What else could possibly go wrong.

during our days as youngsters we were nagging the regimes in this country to establish just another nuclear power reactor!!!!! We have had the best professionals …. all training provided by those French TOP GUYS and Ladies and the China partners those days and France has 58 reactors …..wait for it….. capacity output is 63 GWe with my little bit of knowledge 1 GW (and e is the term for electricity) – 1 GWe equal to ONE BILLION watts – and it is 10 to power of 9 !!! ….. damm …… I am longing to be back in Sub A again!!!

ANY stage of load shedding = failure by the ANC. Put simply, they are not equal to the task of governing and getting the basics right. But when it comes to STEALING man the creativity kicks into overdrive. Cyril is out canvassing for votes while the power outages move from place to place. So this afternoon, I won’t be able to leave work as traffic will be a mess, then, to add to the fun, when I get home, the power will be off. The ANC should sell vacuum cleaners as they SUCK.

The “cadre deployment” chickens have predictably come home to roost, big time. This has nothing to do with creed or race…. the simple fact is if you appoint people without the necessary skills/morals/aptitude/self respect into positions of authority, the result is 100% predictable. The same way if you gave me Koeberg as a present …. I would screw it up too. This is totally, completely an own goal, a self inflicted mortal wound. Was in Zambia three weeks ago: they welcome skills and people with competence and they say so unashamedly to your face. Two farmer nephews are picking up sticks in SA and going to start farming up there…. hardworking, competent people. There are huge opportunities in Zambia if you are young and a farmer. I read somewhere there are ~3000 SA farmers in Mozambique. Is it not ironical that our local politicians (EFF, BLF) are doing all they can to get rid of skills in SA while almost contiguous neighbours have come the full circle of misery and have the welcome mat rolled out. Luthuli house has two choices for the future of SA …. I doubt they have the insight to choose wisely. BEE and cadre deployment are a train wreck in slow motion and the Eskom meltdown is visible evidence. Either you get rid of this cancer or the country goes down the tubes. There is no middle ground.

ps Dollars to doughnuts, they are not going to fix Eskom in spite of the spin from the ANC. The skills have left. This is the new normal in spite of what Gordhan says.

End of comments.





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