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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Eskom imposes stage 6 load shedding for entire weekend due to cold weather

Eskom said the higher stages of weekend load shedding could pave the way for a reduction in power cuts next week.

Eskom has announced that due to the cold weather and increase in electricity demand, the implementation of day-and-night stage 6 load shedding will continue from 5am on Friday throughout the weekend. This in order to replenish emergency reserves.

The parastatal said the higher stages of load shedding could set a possible path for the reduction in the deliberate power cuts for the coming week.

Increase in demand

The utility’s interim spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said there has been a spike in the demand for electricity

“The increase in the demand for electricity due to the cold weather, particularly on Monday and Tuesday, was anticipated. However, this demand exceeded what was forecasted. Eskom is obliged to carry generation reserves to cater for unforeseen events.

“These reserves were used on Monday and Tuesday to buffer the effects of the cold weather. Unfortunately, due to the failure of additional generation units since Sunday, the reserves have been depleted and can no longer buffer the lingering effects of the cold weather and make up for the lost generation capacity,” Mokwena explained.

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Capacity constraints

Mokwena said Eskom will publish another update should any significant changes occur.

“Breakdowns are currently at 17 679MW of generating capacity while the generating capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 3 090MW.

The following generating units are contributing to the current capacity constraints:

  • A generating unit each at Grootvlei, Hendrina, Lethabo, Tutuka, two generating units at Arnot, Matla and three generating units at Kriel power stations have been taken out of service since Sunday.
  • A generating unit at Kendal and two generating units at Tutuka power stations have been delayed to return to service.

Generation units

Mokwena added that Eskom’s teams are working to return these generating units to service.

“It is anticipated that eight generating units will be returned to service in the next few days. Due to the current high demand, we appeal to the members of the public to assist in reducing demand.”

Eskom has urged South Africans to use electricity sparingly and efficiently, including switching off geysers and pool pumps from 5pm to 9pm, as this lowers demand and helps in alleviating the pressure on the power system and contributes to lower stages of load shedding.

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