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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Slight relief for South Africans as load shedding is reduced

Eskom warned that there is a high degree of uncertainty associated with reduction in load shedding and higher stages could kick in.


There is some relief from load shedding for South Africans, after Eskom announced it will be reducing load shedding to a lower stage.

The ailing parastatal said stage 4 load shedding will be implemented at 5am to 4pm daily from Tuesday morning, with stage 5 load shedding daily from 4pm to 5am.

Eskom had been imposing stage 6 load shedding for almost two weeks.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said at least 14 generators are expected to return to service during the week to help ease the pressure on the power system.

Higher stage at short notice

“Eskom cautions the public, however, that there is a high degree of uncertainty associated with this and that these changes will only be possible in their entirety if the units return to service as planned.”

Changes in the stages of load shedding can, therefore, occur at short notice, due to the inherent unreliability of the coal power station fleet. A further update will be published as soon as any significant changes occur,” Mantshantsha added.

ALSO READ: ‘Change government to save SA from load shedding’ – Holomisa

Diesel

Mantshantsha said Eskom has also procured an additional 50 million litres of diesel on 6 January 2023.

“This fuel will be utilised sparingly to manage the pumped storage dam levels and to limit the amount of load shedding during the day. Together, these emergency generators contribute 5 700MW of capacity.”

Generation units and capacity

“A generating unit each at Kendal, Majuba and Tutuka power stations have returned to service today. The summer planned maintenance programme continues, and will taper off during the winter months, helping to make more capacity available to produce electricity,” he said.

Mantshantsha said there are currently 12 generators out on planned maintenance, representing 5 804MW of capacity.

“Breakdowns currently amount to 16 173MW of generating capacity,” Mantshantsha said.  

Meeting with Cyril Ramaphosa

Meanwhile Eskom postponed Monday afternoon’s media briefing due to emergency engagements with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“While we aim to hold the media briefing as soon as possible, the date and time can only be confirmed once meetings with the president are concluded,” Mantshantsha said.

The deepening energy crisis earlier forced Ramaphosa to cancel his working visit to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, due to the ongoing deliberate power cuts.

ALSO READ: Load shedding threatening food security in SA

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