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Compiled by Kyle Zeeman

Deputy Digital Editor

Maintenance leaves SA with load shedding today

The power utility is set to announce the load shedding schedule for the long weekend on Friday.

South Africans have become used to day-time reprieves from load shedding, but all-day rolling blackouts are back on Friday, 22 September.

Eskom announced stage 1 load shedding from 5am to 4pm on Friday, followed by stage 2 from 4pm on Friday to 5am on Saturday.

It said load shedding was necessary because of “anticipated planned maintenance to address minor generation defects”.

The power utility is set to announce the power schedule for the long weekend on Friday.

Load shedding in summer?

Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa previously warned that hot weather may lead to more load shedding.

READ MORE: Here’s which parliamentary committee the electricity minister will report to

“We know when we enter summer it could be a function of ambient temperature. The hotter it gets, it’s very difficult for some of these units to perform, and Matimba is a prime candidate for partial load losses that are likely going to increase in the more extreme hot periods.

“But it’s something that is receiving attention to ensure that we don’t fall foul of such a situation. A lot of engineering solutions will be required.”

He moved to “clarify” his comments during an appearance in parliament this week.

“What I said was when we get into warmer days, we are going to get an increased partial load loss. This simply means the generating units are not generating to their full capacity. 

“This has to do with the cooling powers, fans, and the direction they are facing, which undermines the ability of the unit to approximate their designed life,” said Ramokgopa.

The cost of load shedding

Just last week SA battled stage 6 load shedding, sparking fears of stage 7 being implemented.

READ MORE: So Eskom, how is the reliability maintenance coming along?

Ramokgopa said stage 6 load shedding cost the economy R1 billion a day when implemented.

“The Minister of Finance (Enoch Godongwana) makes the point that one of the structural constraints to the South African economy is load shedding, so clearly the economy won’t recover. 

“It is going to continue to push people into conditions of abject poverty, out of employment and the economy will continue to threaten the social wage,” said the minister. 

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