Eskom extends load shedding until Saturday

Eskom extends load shedding as generation capacity remains under pressure. The company announced on Tuesday morning that “Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 09:00 on Tuesday until 05:00 on Saturday.” The country’s power utility is struggling with breakdowns in its various units, putting the country’s businesses at risk.

Load shedding causes many businesses to resort to generators that run on either petrol or diesel – both options are expensive. Already, the country is on an ambitious recovery path, following the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the economy. An erratic power supply works against every effort to expand the country’s productivity.

“While Eskom teams have successfully returned a unit each at the Kusile, Matimba, and Arnot power stations during the early hours of this morning, further delays in returning other units to service have exacerbated the capacity constraints, hampering the ability to replenish the emergency generation reserves,” said Eskom in a statement.

In total, the company announced that total breakdowns stand at 13,333MW while planned maintenance is at 5,548MW of capacity.

Recently, Eskom’s CEO, André de Ruyter, had promised the nation that load shedding would be lifted on October 14, without any expectations for it running to the November 1 local government elections. But the repair works he pinned his hope on seems to have taken longer than expected.

While making the same announcement, he warned the public that the power supply would remain a problem for the country for the foreseeable future until more generation units have been added to the power system.

“The fact of the matter is that we have a shortage in generation capacity between 4,000 – 5,000MW. That is really what we need in addition to our existing ageing power generation system, which is susceptible to breakdowns and failures. Once we have that capacity added to the grid, we see that there will be a significant improvement in power generation.” He told ENCA.