HomeIndustry SectorsEnergy EfficiencySA plunges back into darkness as Eskom assets fail

SA plunges back into darkness as Eskom assets fail

On Wednesday, South Africans were advised by state-owned enterprise Eskom that emergency loadshedding would be implemented as unplanned breakdowns were above 10,500MW, impacting the utility’s ability to meet the current demand.

In a statement, the parastatal noted that while some generating units have already returned to service, contingency measures have been put in place to manually feed coal to Medupi whilst they look into a permanent solution to the coal conveyor belt failure at the station.

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“We have started receiving additional diesel supplies from the major oil service providers and as such we are comfortable that we can build the necessary diesel and water reserves to acceptable levels over the weekend,” Eskom said on Wednesday. 

“In order to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout and having taken into account all the recovery efforts currently being implemented, our prognosis for tomorrow (Thursday) is that stage 2 rotational loadshedding will be implemented from 09:00 to 23:00. This requires that a total of 2,000MW be loadshed throughout the country. We are hopeful that the early warning will assist businesses, including the Department of Education to plan accordingly and to minimise individual risk,” said Eskom Acting Group Chief Executive, Jabu Mabuza.

The utility said in a statement this morning that they regret the inconvenience and customers are reminded to treat all electrical points as live during this period. Regular updates on the status of the power system will be provided through all the media platforms and will include the relevant times that loadshedding will be implemented on the day. 

Loadshedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout. 

Residents and businesses have been asked to use electricity sparingly throughout the day:

• Set air-conditioners’ average temperature at 23ºC.

• Switch of your geysers over peak periods.

• Use the cold water tap rather than using the geyser every time.

• Set your swimming pool pump cycle to run twice a day, three hours at a time for optimal energy use.

• At the end of the day, turn off computers, copiers, printers and fax machines at the switch. Avoid stand-by or sleep mode. 

Customers are advised to check their loadshedding schedules on the Eskom or municipal website. 

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.