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By Lunga Simelane


Eskom is ‘addressing’ load shedding crisis, says Ramokgopa amid system failures

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa's caution on persistent load shedding is validated as Eskom initiates stage two measures.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa’s warning that load shedding is here to stay had barely time to see the light when Eskom announced stage two load shedding from yesterday.

South Africa has had four days free of load shedding this year.

Stage 1 would take place from 5am to 4pm today and stage two load shedding from 4pm to 5am until further notice.

Eskom managed to prevent load shedding in December due to improved generating capacity and emergency reserves, but Ramokgopa reiterated the utility was “working hard” on improving its generation system and citizens must still expect load shedding.

ALSO READ: Eskom implements stage 1 and 2 load shedding due to ‘setback’

Outlook of systems remains unreliable

According to Ramokgopa, the outlook of systems at Eskom still remained unreliable.

“We are addressing this through the planned maintenance,” he said.

“We’re getting through that recovery and we are experiencing a period of no load shedding again.

“We will have this period of days of no load shedding and then there will be days of load shedding.

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“We did make the point that the system still remains unreliable, we’re working on these units.

According to generation performance data, the total capacity available during the week of 22-29 December was at 24 816MW. During the week of 1-8 January, total capacity available was at 24 237MW.

There was an increase in partial load losses from 6 220MW in the last week of December to 6 489MW in the first week of the new year.

Eskom working to address issues

“While demand was low during the week 22-29 December, Eskom was working to address issues of its fleet and used the opportunity to carry out planned maintenance,” Ramokgopa said.

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Unplanned outages as of yesterday were at 14 953MW of generating capacity, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance was 7 638MW.

Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said power station managers and their teams were working “tirelessly” to ensure that 2 700MW of generating capacity was returned to service before the end of the week.

“Eskom’s load forecast for the evening peak demand for Tuesday is 24 977MW,” she said.

Ramokgopa assured the public Eskom would not repeat the same mistakes

Ramokgopa also assured the public that Eskom would ensure not to repeat the same mistakes with unit 1 at Kusile.

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The power utility managed to return three units back at Kusile last year, with Ramokgopa saying Eskom reduced repeat failures.

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