Eskom says load shedding will be suspended at 5am on Tuesday, but warned that constrained supply will persist throughout the week.
The breakdown resulted in supply constraints and reduced available generation capacity by a further 700 megawatts (MW).
“This, together with four generation unit breakdowns earlier today, necessitated the implementation of load shedding. Eskom is working hard to return as many of these generation units to service as possible,” the power utility said in a statement.
Eskom also indicated that the possibility of more load shedding was likely throughout the week, should the generation capacity deteriorate further.
“Today one generating unit at Kriel Power Station, as well as two generating units at Camden Power Station experienced breakdowns.
“Furthermore, a generating unit at Tutuka power station is delayed returning to service, contributing to the current shortage of capacity.
“The two generation units that had broken down at Matla Power Station have returned to service this evening. These, however, will take some time to reach full generation output,” Eskom explained.
“We currently have 4,804MW on planned maintenance, while another 14,759MW of capacity is unavailable due to unplanned breakdowns.
“We are managing the emergency generation reserves to limit the stage of load shedding. This overnight load shedding will be used to replenish the dam level at the pump storage power stations in preparation for tomorrow,” the power utility added.
According to energy analyst Chris Yelland, South Africa’s over-dependence on Eskom has proved the power utility was unable to meet demand at certain times and was unpredictable, intermittent, unreliable and performing very poorly.
“Another problem we have is that 80% of Eskom’s energy comes from coal. Now you see the risks that SA is facing,” he told The Citizen last month.
“And the only way to deal with these risks is very simple – we need to diversify away from being over-dependent on Eskom. We need a number of generators of electricity,” he further said.
Yelland also said SA needed to have more sources of energy such as wind, solar, gas, hydro power, battery storage and other technologies too.
“We are 80% dependent on power from coal and Eskom’s coal power stations are performing very poorly. Sometimes on and sometimes off. It’s unpredictable,” he added.
Additional reporting by Reitumetse Makwea