In an unprecedented development, Eskom has said it will implement load shedding on Easter Sunday, when demand from electricity users is low.
This comes as the troubled state-owned electricity utility disclosed that more than 17GW of generating capacity is unavailable due to unplanned breakdowns.
If planned maintenance, currently at 5.5GW of capacity, is included, that means 22.5GW – or more than half of Eskom’s total generating capacity of 44GW (38GW from coal) – was offline as of Sunday afternoon.
Eskom will now cut the power from 4pm on Sunday, with rotational blackouts to continue until at least 5am on Wednesday.
“The loss of four additional generation units at Matla, Tutuka, Duvha and Arnot power stations over the past 24 hours, exacerbated by the delay in units returning to service at Camden, Matla, Grootvlei and Tutuka power stations, has unfortunately necessitated the implementation of load shedding,” Eskom said in a statement.
“The power system continues to be fragile and Eskom is forced to implement load shedding to manage and replenish emergency generation reserves, on which it has been relying to supply electricity this week.” — © 2022 NewsCentral Media