Load shedding: Stage 1 from Friday at 21:00

Until 05:00 on Monday next week.
Image: AdobeStock

The current Stage 2 load shedding will be reduced to Stage 1 from 21:00 on Friday and will last until 05:00 Monday.

Although Stage 2 load shedding that was implemented from 11h00 on Wednesday was set to continue until 05:00 on Monday, Eskom says the improvement in the generation capacity and the typically reduced weekend demand calls for a reduction in the number of hours South Africans have to endure the dark.

“While there has been an improvement in the generation capacity and a significant recovery in the emergency generation reserves, caution is still called for as this is not sufficient to suspend load shedding at this point,” the power utility said in a statement.

Eskom’s CEO Andre De Ruyter said during a media briefing on Friday that the utility was able to further recover at least 3 000 MW of power back into the system since Wednesday and emergency reserves are nearly fully recovered.

We have recovered our dams [and] they are essentially full. We have a few pumping hours remaining at our three major pump storage schemes [and] we will make that up during the day and also overnight. But essentially our pump storage reserves have recovered,” he said.

“From a diesel perspective, Gourikwa is full, so we have a full availability of diesel reserves there and at Ankerlig we’re currently sitting at 81%. So, we’re in a much better place than we were.”

Eskom says a generating unit at the Kusile Power Station was returned to service, while a unit at the Hendrina Power Station was shut down to repair a boiler tube leak since Thursday evening.

Each unit at Duvha, Kriel and Hendrina power stations has been taken offline for planned maintenance.

“Total breakdowns amount to 13 277 MW while planned maintenance is 6 728 MW of capacity as we continue with the reliability maintenance,” the utility added. Eskom’s group executive for Generation, Phillip Dukashe, mentioned during the briefing that another contributing factor to the power cuts is the issue of cable theft, which leads to units not returning as scheduled.

“Almost on a daily basis people are getting arrested [for] trying to steal copper and cables.

“That’s a challenge that we have to deal with but with the security levels that have increased, we are succeeding,” he said.

The utility says it will continue to evaluate and monitor the system and make necessary adjustments as soon as conditions allow.

Palesa Mofokeng is a Moneyweb intern.

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