South Africa’s power utility Eskom has announced that it is jumping from Stage 2 load-shedding to Stage 4 from 12:00 on Wednesday.
Stage 4 load-shedding will then continue until 05:00 in the morning on Friday – thereafter it will continue as Stage 2 until Saturday morning (05:00) which is still the time the utility announced load-shedding to end earlier in the week in order to have no load-shedding on election day 1 November.
Stage 4 load-shedding will see some areas in South Africa suffer power cuts up to three times a day across two-hour intervals.
Regretfully Stage 4 loadshedding will be implemented from 12:00 on Wednesday until 05:00 on Friday; thereafter Stage 2 loadshedding will continue as previously communicated until 05:00 on Saturday pic.twitter.com/H7CR4bk0A0
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) October 27, 2021
Eskom is blaming the need to implement Stage 4 on a new bout of recent outages at its power stations.
“Over the past 24 hours a unit each at Medupi, Kusile and Matla power stations tripped, while a unit each at Lethabo and Arnot power stations were forced to shut down. This constrained the power system further requiring extensive use of emergency reserves and therefore, hampering the recovery of these reserves,” Eskom said in a statement shared on Twitter.
“Some generating units have returned to service and we anticipate another two units to return to service during the day. In addition, Koeberg Unit 1 is expected to return to service today and begin ramping up to full output within 48 hours.”
Eskom says that the implementation of Stage 4 load-shedding is “”no cause for alarm as the power system remains to be effectively controlled”.
Right now, total breakdowns at Eskom across its stations amount to 14,957MW of power while planned maintenance is 5,301MW of capacity.
No Load-Shedding During Elections – Eskom
According to CEO André de Ruyter, Eskom is working to actively avoid having to implement load shedding during the upcoming municipal elections on Monday 1 November.
During an interview with eNCA Wednesday morning, De Ruyter said that Eskom was focusing on repairs ahead of the elections in efforts to accomplish this.
During the interview, De Ruyter told eNCA that Eskom’s “…current planning is that we will lift load shedding by tomorrow morning, and that should enable us to go into election season – very important from a democratic process perspective – without any load shedding going forward.”