Eskom implemented load-shedding this weekend due to a shortage in capacity caused by a tropical cyclone in Mozambique.
The power utility told the City Press that the cyclone damaged power transmission lines from Mozambique to South Africa, resulting in the loss of 1,100MW from the country.
Eskom said the loss of this electricity import meant it was forced to implement load-shedding, and its generation capacity rapidly fell following the initial power shortage – with the utility shifting from stage 2 to stage 4 load-shedding within a few hours.
Eskom acting chief of power generation Andrew Etzinger said that two other units at power stations became inoperative on Friday night, worsening the situation over the weekend.
He said Eskom’s target for power generation was currently 80%, but the power utility is operating with only 67% of its power generation capacity available.
Due to this large deficit in electricity capacity, Etzinger said he was uncertain when Eskom will be able to reduce load-shedding.
Last month’s load-shedding
Last month, Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali revealed the real reasons Eskom had to implement load-shedding.
These reasons included that rocks were supplied instead of coal to one of Eskom’s power stations, and everyone working at one of the control rooms in a power station “went to the bathroom at the same time”.
Load-shedding is expected in the week ahead, following stage 4 load-shedding on Saturday and Sunday.