Eskom has announced that it will implement Stage 2 load shedding from 8am until 10pm on Thursday, 13 August.
In a statement, Eskom said load shedding has been caused by an increase in plant breakdowns during the night and early hours of the morning.
“The delay of the return to service of two units at Duvha and Tutuka and the breakdowns of four units at Kriel, Tutuka, and Kendal have resulted in the need for load shedding today.
“These units removed more than 2,000MW of capacity from the system. Eskom is working hard to return as many of these generation units to service.
“The generating plant continues to perform at is levels of reliability, any unexpected shift such as an increase in unplanned breakdowns could result in a change in the load shedding stage at short notice,” the power utility said.
The power utility said there was a high possibility that Stage 2 load shedding may be escalated to Stage 3 during the evening peak.
It further said that the constrained supply situation might persist throughout the weekend.
Eskom has urged the public to assist by switching off heating appliances, geysers and other appliances.
“We urge the public to continue reducing electricity usage to help us minimise load shedding. Eskom wishes to assure the public that implementing load shedding is the last resort, in order to protect the national grid.
“We will communicate should there be any significant changes to the supply situation,” it added.
This follows Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter’s recent warning that load shedding would likely not be going away any time soon.
“It is likely that we will have increased load shedding going forward,” he said.
This is mainly due to the reliability or long-term maintenance of plants which has to be done – this requires units to be shut down. Not maintaining units will increase the risk of “significantly worse” load shedding in future, he said.
“We simply don’t have alternatives.”
On Monday night, demand was 32,000 MW, and Eskom managed to meet it, without resorting to load shedding, De Ruyter said. However, Eskom had to burn a “substantial” amount of diesel to power its Open Cycle Gas Turbines, to meet demand.
“We are doing our best to keep the lights on, but not at the expense of doing our maintenance,” he said.
Additional reporting News24 Wire