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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Eskom warns of load shedding and a weekend of darkness

Eskom says the system remains severley constrained and that load shedding may be implemented from 4pm until 12am.

Eskom has warned not to get too comfortable after it suspended load shedding on Friday, saying that rolling black outs may be imposed once again at short notice.  

The dark lords of Megawatt Park has cautioned that the system remains constrained and it will be forced to deliberately cut your lights from 4pm until 12am and possibly during the evening peaks throughout the weekend.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the rolling blackouts are due to a shortage of generation capacity owing to breakdowns and delays in returning units.

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“The cold front expected during the weekend is also anticipated to result in increased demand for electricity, adding to the capacity constraints. We, therefore, urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly,”  

Mantshantsha says the embattled parastatal will promptly communicate should there be any significant changes.

“Unit 2 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station was safely shutdown in accordance with operating procedures this morning. During routine testing of the control rod mechanism on the unit, one of the control rods developed a mechanical problem.”

“In order to rectify this, the unit has been safely shut down in accordance with safe nuclear operating procedure and the nuclear regulations. It has not yet been determined how long the repairs will take, but it could be up to five days, whereafter the unit will ramp up over three days. During this period the probability of load shedding has increased,” Mantshantsha said.

He adds the breakdown of two generation units at Hendrina Power Station and the delay in returning a generating unit each at Kendal, Komati, Kusile and Tutuka power stations during the last 24 hours have put a severe strain on the power generation system.

“During the same period, Eskom teams have returned to service a generating unit each at Kriel and Matla power stations. Eight generating units are expected to return to service by Monday evening.”

Mantshanths says Eskom currently have 4 526MW on planned maintenance, while another 14 574MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.

ALSO READ: Load shedding wreaking havoc on appliances, causing spikes in burglaries

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