Dark Days Ahead in South Africa as Stage 5 Loadshedding Implemented

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, said there are measures under way to stop load shedding after Eskom announced the implementation of Stage 5 loadshedding yesterday.
  • Stage 5 loadshedding will be implemented during the evenings at 16:00 – 24:00 from Monday to Wednesday.
  • Loadshedding will vary between Stage 4 and Stage 2 during the day until Wednesday.

Eskom has announced that changes in the stages of loadshedding will be more erratic due to the absence of the buffer that is normally provided by the diesel generation capacity between generating unit breakdowns. Eskom is rumoured to have run out of money to buy diesel.

Eskom recently announced that there will be an increase in loadshedding over the next 12 months as major repairs will remove 2300MW of generating capacity. Read more

Magwenya tried to reassure the public in a media briefing yesterday.

“I think the president has been quite open about accepting the devastating nature of load shedding, not only to households but to businesses, to the economy and to jobs,” said Magwenya.

He confirmed that so far this year, there have been about 162 days with power cuts, making it the worst year in the country’s history in terms of load shedding.

“It will take time for Eskom to return generation units at Kusile and other power stations to service, and for new sources of capacity, including from private generators, to come online. As I have stated, for households and businesses that have been so badly affected by the intermittent power supply, the prospect of more load shedding is deeply disheartening.”

“It is difficult at times to remain optimistic when the results of our actions are not felt, immediately. Yet, at the same time, we must say that there are a range of initiatives that are already under way that will make load shedding a thing of the past.”

Status

Three units at Kusile Power Station are offline due to the duct (chimney structure) failure late in October and will remain offline for a few months while repairs to the chimney system take place. Unit 1 of Koeberg Nuclear Power Station will continue to generate at a reduced output over the next three weeks as the fuel is depleted ahead of the refuelling and maintenance outage scheduled to commence in December 2022.

Since Sunday morning a generating unit each at Arnot, Grootvlei and Majuba power stations were taken offline for repairs.A generating unit at Kriel Power Station was returned to service.

Of the 44000MW generation capacity, Eskom currently has 5354MW on planned maintenance, while another 14495MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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