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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Here’s why you woke up to no lights this morning

Eskom said load shedding was moved to stage 4 due to insufficient generation reserves.


Eskom has ramped up load shedding to stage 4 until further notice.

Spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said the rolling blackouts were moved to higher stages due to insufficient generation reserves.

“Due to insufficient emergency reserves and generation capacity as a result of four units not returning to service as planned, stage 4 load shedding was implemented this morning at 02:31 until further notice.

Eskom will monitor the system and communicate should any significant changes occur,” Mokwena said.

Load shedding

The parastatal had previously intended on keeping load shedding on rotation between stage 1 during the day and stage 3 at night, but was forced to increase this to a rotation of stages 2 and 3.

As Eskom continues its battle to keep the lights on, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa labelled the performance of the parastatal’s power station in generating electricity over the past two weeks as a “major disappointment”.

ALSO READ: Eskom ramps up load shedding alternating between stage 2 and 3 – Here’s your schedule

Ramokgopa said the power cuts had to be ramped up this week to replenish emergency reserves after Eskom lost a “cluster” of units from different power stations across the country.

“If we had not experienced that, of course, you would not be seeing the kind of intensity of load shedding that we are experiencing,” he said.

Maintenance

In August, Ramokgopa said Eskom was losing hundreds of thousands of megawatts of electricity due to a lack of consistent maintenance at some of its power stations.

The minister said the historical lack of maintenance of electricity infrastructure resulted in the underperformance of some power stations, which could be adding capacity to the electricity grid.

“Significant amount of opportunity is giving us an EAF (Energy Availability Factor) of 40% and we know we can do significantly better because those units are big and 40% is an injustice on what the team is capable of achieving.”

Ramokgopa said the historical backlog is having a serious impact on the grid.

“Part of the underperformance we are seeing is a function of historical reasons. Historical, in this instance, I’m referring to Eskom’s inability to invest in the maintenance,” Ramokgopa said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Eskom losing thousands of megawatts due to lack of maintenance

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