Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of the country’s electricity, has been forced to intermittently apply load shedding for months to avoid overwhelming the grid in the face of frequent breakdowns in its generating units.
“We regret that Stage 2 rotational loadshedding will be implemented from 9am [Thursday] until 6am on Saturday owing to the loss of 3 additional units overnight that has increased the shortage in capacity,” said the electricity utility yesterday.
“There is a high probability that load shedding will continue over the weekend, as there is a need to replenish reserves for the coming week.”
The utility said it was currently utilising emergency reserves to supplement the shortage in capacity and reiterated that there was a possibility of increased load shedding over the next 18 months as it conducted critical maintenance to restore its ageing plants to good health.
Meanwhile, mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, said there was no deliberate delay on his part in bringing more renewable power to the grid to solve South Africa’s energy crisis, but simultaneously declined to commit to timelines on signing up additional capacity.
Mantashe responded to pressure to expedite Window 5 of the government’s bidding programme to procure more renewable energy from independent power producers (IPPs) by saying there was a misconception that this alone could solve state utility Eskom’s crippling capacity shortages.African News Agency