Eskom has announced that stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 5pm to 10pm on Monday evening.
The embattled power utility earlier cautioned the public that rolling power cuts might be required at short notice during the evening peaks, should there be further breakdowns in its currently available capacity.
Increased demand for winter
A generation unit each at Kriel, Grootvlei and Majuba power stations tripped on Monday, placing additional strain on the pre-existing constraints caused by delays in returning expected generation units back to service.
The grid constraints are expected to continue during the evening peaks for the remainder of the week.
At the same time, Eskom said a unit each at Hendrina and Kendal power stations has returned to service. But it’s not enough to meet peak demand.
The return to service of a generation unit each at Kusile, Matimba and Lethabo power stations, two units each at Hendrina and three at Tutuka power stations have been delayed, increasing the evening peak constraints.
“The onset of winter has seen increased demand and this will lead to a constrained system, particularly during the morning and evening peaks, throughout the winter. We, therefore, urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly, especially between 05:00 – 09:00 in the mornings and 16:00 – 22:00 in the evenings,” advised Eskom.
“We currently have 3 049MW on planned maintenance, while another 15 943MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.”
Eskom’s Head of Generational Capacity quits
This week’s rolling blackouts announcement comes as Eskom’s Head of Generation capacity, Philip Dukashe announced that he was throwing in the towel.
In his resignation letter, Dukashe cited a critical need to achieve a balance for the benefit of his health, family and work responsibilities.
Dukashe’s resignation will undoubtedly place Eskom under more strain, as the parastatal scrambles to find skilled technicians to help solve the country’s energy crisis.
Dukashe was among those in the power utility’s executive that flagged the growing skills drainage at Eskom.
He will be replaced by Rhulani Mathebula who acts in the interim as the Group Executive for Generation while the recruitment process is initiated.
Meanwhile, Civil society organisation Democracy in Action, plans to march to the Union Buildings, Church Square on 11 May.
Organisation members will hand over a petition that has garnered over 47 000 signatures, calling for an end to load shedding.
Members are also demanding that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter, and COO Jan Oberholzer’s heads roll.