Eskom implemented rotational blackouts on Thursday after it failed to return power generation units to the grid and after additional breakdowns overnight.
Stage-2 load shedding began at 8am and will continue until 10pm, the state-owned electricity monopoly said in a statement. It’s the first time that Eskom has implemented load shedding in 28 days and comes despite South Africa still being in a government-imposed lockdown to combat the spread of Covid-19.
“The load shedding has been caused by an increase in plant breakdowns during the night and early hours of the morning,” it said.
“The delay of the return to service of two units at Duvha and Tutuka and the breakdown of four units at Kriel, Tutuka and Kendal have resulted in the need for load shedding today,” Eskom added. These units removed more than 2GW of capacity from the system.
Eskom warned the situation could get worse later on Thursday. “The generating plant continues to perform at low levels of reliability and any unexpected shift, such as an increase in unplanned breakdowns, could result in a change in the load-shedding stage at short notice. There is a high possibility that stage-2 load shedding may be escalated to stage 3 for the evening peak.”
It warned, too, that the situation could last throughout the rest of the week and through the weekend. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media