Stage 2 loadshedding will continue on Thursday, state power utility Eskom announced on Wednesday evening.
“Due to the severe constraints in the power generation system, Eskom will continue to implement Stage 2 loadshedding, starting at 09:00 until 22:00 tomorrow (Thursday). While Eskom teams have today and yesterday successfully returned three generation units to service, a further two units have tripped, two of which have returned,” the company said in a statement.
South Africans have been dealing with the rotational blackouts for over a decade, as the cash-strapped power producer deals with years of maintenance neglect and looting under the state-capture era. The utility is about R450 million in debt.
In the same statement, Eskom said that three generators were returned to service at the Duvha, Tutuka and Hendrina power stations, but that a single generation unit at Tutuka had not yet been returned to service.
“Unplanned breakdowns stand at 12 100MW of capacity, adding to the 4 350MW currently out on planned maintenance. Any further deterioration in the generation performance may therefore necessitate the escalation of loadshedding at short notice,” it said.
The constrained power system was expected to persist for the remainder of the week “as the aged generation infrastructure is unreliable and volatile”, it said, and the cold front being experienced nationally would be leading to an increased demand for electricity.
“We urge the people of South Africa to help reduce electricity usage in order to assist Eskom to reduce the instances of loadshedding and keep the lights on.”
– ANA; Editing by Desiree Erasmus