Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
16 Oct 2019
8:25 pm

Stage 2 load shedding to continue on Thursday

Citizen Reporter

Rolling blackouts are likely to be with us for a week.

File image.

Stage 2 load shedding will continue from 9am to 11pm on Thursday due to a “shortage of capacity”, the struggling energy utility confirmed on Wednesday night, after implementing the same measures throughout Wednesday.

It had earlier indicated that the blackouts were expected to last at least a week.

A statement released by Eskom has explained that the rolling blackouts aim to “protect the power system from a total collapse”, and are as a result of the electricity system becoming “severely constrained” due to the “loss of additional generation, delays in the return to service of units that are on planned maintenance and limited diesel supply”.

The utility also “unreservedly” apologised to South Africans in an earlier statement.

The return of load shedding saw Eskom do an about-turn after assuring customers in September that no load shedding was planned for either September or October, following a statement from the Democratic Alliance (DA) claiming that it had received “reliable information” that Eskom had been warning municipalities that rolling blackouts would soon be upon the country again.

“We have not communicated to any stakeholder that there will be load shedding,” Eskom said.

“Eskom communicated its summer plan on the 4th September 2019 at a media briefing held at Megawatt Park, where we indicated that while no load shedding is expected over summer, the risk however remains as the system is still tight and vulnerable, as we ramp up plant maintenance.”

According to Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, who spoke at a briefing when load shedding returned back in March, a lack of maintenance was the main factor that had led to the resurgence of the unpopular planned outages.

READ MORE: DA alleges Eskom has been quietly warning load shedding is almost back

Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza also spoke, echoing Gordhan’s view on maintenance and conceding that the state company had not spent enough on this over the past five years, while new plants Medupi and Kusile had not come fully on stream despite enormous cost overruns.

He admitted that, in his view, the construction of these two plants was “misguided”.

“Money was not spent on maintenance, the question has to be what was that money spent on,” Mabuza said. “The reality is that we now have a plant that is falling off, owing to no maintenance.”

The struggling energy utility suffered a R20.7 billion loss in the last financial year.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman.) 

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.