rotational loadshedding
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South Africans will experience power outages on Human Rights day as Eskom implements Stage 4 rotational loadshedding.

The Stage 4 rotational loadshedding today (Thursday, 21 March) is scheduled from 9h00 to 23h00 as a result of a shortage of capacity.

Speaking to CapeTalk radio, Eskom COO, Jan Oberholzer, explained that the destruction to the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric system in Mozambique is a contributing factor to Eskom’s loss of capacity.

In terms of fixing the transmission line, Oberholzer said: “Because of the weather, we couldn't get access, but yesterday (Monday) we used a helicopter and saw that one of the towers is down and four others have snapped.”

“We will travel to see what the damage on the other line is... It's a severe permanent fault,” he added.

Furthermore, Eskom is dealing with contractual issues for Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations. The two power plants were expected to be add 4,000MW to the national grid but have failed to deliver due to “design defects”.

According to the utility, loadshedding is a highly controlled process, implemented to protect the system and to prevent a total collapse of the system or a national blackout. During Stage 4 loadshedding, approximately 80% of the country’s demand is still being met, states Eskom.

Eskom’s maintenance teams are working round the clock to return generation units to the electricity system.

Stage 2 calls for 2000MW, Stage 3 calls for 3000MW, and Stage 4 calls for 4000MW to be rotationally loadshed nationally at a given period. Read more: Ed’s Note | As darkness falls across the land…

“We appeal to customers to switch off geysers during the day as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand. Remember to treat all electrical points as live during loadshedding.”

Customers are advised to keep checking their loadshedding schedules on the Eskom or their municipal websites. For Eskom customers, these schedules are available on the Eskom website (http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za). Eskom customers can also contact our customer contact centre at 0860 037 566.

Eskom will provide regular updates on the status of the power system through all the media platforms.