Eskom has announced that Stage 2 load shedding will continue on Monday.
On Thursday, the power utility said that the current bout of blackouts would end at 11pm on Sunday.
Instead, load shedding will continue overnight at Stage 1 from 11pm until 5am, where after it will revert back to Stage 2.
“Regrettably, as the return to service of some generation units has been delayed, as well as the need to manage the emergency generation reserves and identified risks to the power system, Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 5am tomorrow morning,” Eskom said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.
“The system remains constrained and vulnerable, and Eskom will give a further update on the power situation tomorrow afternoon.”
Eskom added that two generation units at the Kusile power station could not be returned to service as there were “difficulties in restarting the units”. These units are now expected to come back online on Monday.
Generation units at each of the Kriel, Grootvlei and Duvha power stations have been returned to service.
The utility is also mentioned constraints stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that contractors and suppliers have been testing positive for the coronavirus, hindering the execution of repairs.
“For example at the Medupi power station we have had 48 positive cases out of a pool of 75 contractors, which has negatively affected our ability to executive work as planned.
“We currently have 6,384MW on planned maintenance, while another 13,181MW of capacity is unavailable due to unplanned maintenance, breakdowns and the outage delays mentioned.”
Three more months of load shedding
Over the weekend, energy analyst Chris Yelland unpacked what Eskom called a “code red risk for load shedding”.
This translates into a high probability of load shedding for the next three months.
“It means they don’t have any so-called reserve generation capacity and any further loss of supply and generation units will result in load shedding,” explained Yelland in an interview with eNCA.