Load-shedding – What to expect this weekend

Update – Eskom has released an updated statement regarding the load-shedding scheduled for Friday 18 October. Due to a setback at Medupi power station, stage 2 load-shedding will be implemented from 12:00 until 23:00 today.

It is unclear how this will affect Eskom’s projections for the implementation of load-shedding this weekend.

The original article is below.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday evening, acting Eskom CEO Jabu Mabuza stated that he does not expect any load-shedding to be implemented over the weekend.

Stage 1 load-shedding has been announced for Friday from 09:00 until 12:00, with stage 2 taking effect from 12:00 until 23:00.

This follows two days of stage 2 load-shedding which began on Wednesday 16 October. This power capacity shortage was attributed to boiler tube leaks and the failure of a conveyer belt supplying Medupi power station with coal.

Mabuza stated that Eskom’s power generation system remains in a dire situation, with no immediate hope of improvement due to a lack of funds for expansion and sufficient maintenance.

“We are experiencing extreme financial constraints that make expedited maintenance and expansion impossible,” Mabuza said. “The system remains constrained and vulnerable.”

No blackouts expected this weekend

Mabuza noted that while no load-shedding is expected this weekend, Eskom could never guarantee that load-shedding will not occur over any period due to its unstable generation system.

“Some generation units have already returned to service, and we are expecting more generation units to return to service over the next few days, which lessens the probability of load-shedding towards the weekend,” Mabuza said.

“Based on what we know, here is our prognosis: we will implement stage 1 load-shedding tomorrow [Friday] from 09:00 until 23:00.”

“Thereafter, we anticipate no further load-shedding. This will allow our pump storage dam levels to be recovered over the weekend,” he said.

Mabuza added that this plan requires diesel generation of around 1,000MW to be used for short durations over the morning and evening peaks.

“We can never say there will be no load-shedding. We go out of our way to make the point that whilst no load-shedding cannot be guaranteed, our efforts are always to ensure that it is eliminated.”

He stated that Eskom will remain resolute in its efforts to improve and ensure the reliability of the power supply.

“We are working with a system that is old and unreliable, therefore the risk of further breakdowns is always imminent,” Mabuza said.

The full Eskom media briefing is available below:

Now read: Eskom blocked us from preventing load-shedding – Joburg mayor

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Load-shedding – What to expect this weekend