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Stage 2 load shedding not over yet – Eskom

As of 17:00 on Thursday Eskom believed it could downgrade load shedding to Stage 1 on Friday but this has been derailed.

Eskom has reinstated Stage 2 load shedding despite informing South Africans that the power cuts would be downgraded to Stage 1. 

Merely a few hours after acting CEO and chair of Eskom, Jabu Mabuza, apologised to South Africans about the “inconvenience” of the sudden power cuts, which started on Wednesday morning, the power utility has experienced further setbacks at the Medupi power station.  

Read: Load shedding: How did it suddenly get to this?

Three units

In a statement released on Friday morning, Eskom says it lost three units, namely 3, 4 and 5, at Medupi overnight “due to coal and ash handling issues”. 

This means that the power system has deteriorated further creating an additional shortage of generation capacity of 1 500MW. As a result, we will regrettably maintain Stage 2 load shedding for the greater part of today,” the utility said.

Eskom has again apologised to the country, particularly matriculants who are writing exams on Friday morning.

“In order to lessen the disruption on exams, we will be implementing Stage 1 load shedding from 9:00 until 12:00 midday and thereafter revert to Stage 2 load shedding until 23:00,” it said in the statement.

Medupi again

Complications at Medupi also contributed to the initial bout of load shedding after a conveyor belt which supplies Medupi with coal failed on Saturday, knocking 1 200MW off the grid. 

This incident, along with the loss of several generating units to unplanned breakdowns, forced the utility to implement emergency measures which saw the excessive use of water and diesel in order to meet electricity demand. 

Eskom previously explained that in order to keep the lights on during the summer months it would have to contain outages to below 9 500MW, however, the breakdowns experienced over the weekend led to the loss of over a third of its generating capacity, pushing it over the limit. 

Mabuza explained to the media that by Monday the utility had managed to restore some units to the grid, however, more units tripped, and the utility found itself in a precarious position as diesel and dam levels, which had been in use since Saturday, diminished. 

“By Monday it became clear that we were having serious problems,” said Mabuza. “With the combination of those units that tripped it really pushed us to the other side.”

Mabuza said that Eskom had no choice but to implement load shedding this week in order to avoid a total collapse of the power system that would have damaged the economy more than the Stage 2 load shedding has over the past two days.

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Why don’t they try and convince a guy like Tony Blair to come and run the country and make it part of his package to employ proper people to run and fix SOE’s. ESKOM in particular.

Has it not dawned (new or old) on our “Leaders” that they will just never get it right. You need to have ability to do that.

Not to worry, we have a PLAN.

We are planning to do this and planning to do that…………

“…says it lost three units, namely 3, 4 and 5, at Medupi overnight “due to coal and ash handling issues”. ”

Coal – you see that you are running out of it.
Ash – you see that it is building up and will become a problem.

How can someone NOT inform HQ that the fecal matter is about to hit the fan, while HQ proudly announces load-shedding will be over soon?

The level of incompetence is astounding

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