Load shedding was implemented on Thursday after several units went out of commission on Wednesday. In a statement, Eskom said four units were brought back online on Thursday, but this was not enough to avoid further blackouts.
“Staying in stage 2 load shedding will also assist us in preserving our emergency generation reserves, namely diesel and water,” the power utility said.
While a unit each at Matimba, Kusile, Tutuka and Kriel power stations were returned to service, two units at Kriel, and a unit each at Duvha, Tutuka and Kendal power stations were still offline, which necessitated the continued load shedding.
The breakdowns have wiped 13,500MW from the grid while planned maintenance took a further 5,000MW offline.
Eskom also warned that it was experiencing “low levels of reliability” and that any unexpected breakdowns will further constrain generation capacity. As a result, the country should brace for blackouts to run into the weekend.
Stage 2 loadshedding to continue until 22:00, and resume at 08:00 tomorrow pic.twitter.com/xi39ql4K9F
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) August 13, 2020
Earlier this week the CSIR said the future duration and severity of load shedding was dependent on the decisions taken by industry role players.
According to its report, Setting up for the 2020s: Addressing South Africa’s electricity crisis and getting ready for the next decade, the cost of load shedding to the economy is as high as R338 billion over the past 10 years.
“Load shedding is expected to continue, at least for two to three years, and this is dependent on the key actions and decisions that are taken by various industry custodians as well as stakeholders,” Jarrad Wright, CSIR principal engineer, said on Wednesday.
Wright said an urgent response to this electricity crisis was necessary, saying there was a need to ensure that short-term systems in place put the country on a path to long-term adequacy in a decade.