National electricity provider Eskom said on Friday, 18 October 2019, it would effect a third day of rotational power cuts, saying it had lost supply from some generating units due to coal and ash handling issues.
Eskom reveals stage two load shedding plans
Eskom, which had initially indicated it would scale down load shedding to “stage 1”, which involves suppressing 1,000MW of demand at any given time, said it would instead apply “stage 2” — in which it takes off 2,000MW — for the greater part of the day.
The state-owned utility said it had, since a media briefing late on Thursday, suffered a major setback by losing additional capacity from Medupi power station. In a statement, the company said:
“Late last night, we lost Medupi 3, 4 and 5 due to coal and ash handling issues. This is in addition to the conveyor belt that failed on Saturday 12 October at the power station.”
Eskom further stated:
“This means that the power system has deteriorated further creating an additional shortage of about generation capacity of 1,500MW. As a result we will regrettably maintain stage 2 load shedding for the greater part of today.”
Power utility will accommodate matriculants
The powercuts have affected ongoing national examinations for students finishing high school this year. On Friday, the power utility noted:
“We understand the negative impact this will have on our customers, in particular our matriculants who are writing exams this morning. In order to lessen the disruption on exams, will be implement stage 1 load shedding from 9:00 until 12:00 midday and thereafter revert to stage 2 load shedding until 23:00.”
Financially strapped Eskom, which supplies 95 percent of South Africa’s electricity demand, imposed similar powercuts earlier this year, saying its units were struggling to keep up with demand.
By African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa