Eskom has warned South Africans that the possibility of load-shedding is high this evening, and it has urged the public to reduce electricity consumption.
“While Eskom is working hard to return generating units to service, the possibility of load-shedding during the peak demand hours is high,” Eskom said.
“We request the public to reduce electricity usage as the power generation system is severely constrained.”
The power utility said that one generation unit at the Tutuka power station tripped, while another one was taken off the grid, as well as a power unit at Lethabo.
In addition to this, the return to service of a generation unit each at the Duvha and Kendal power stations has been delayed.
Eskom said that all of these factors have added significant pressure to the already-strained power generation system.
“Any additional breakdowns will compromise Eskom’s ability to supply the country through the peak demand period of 17:00 – 21:00,” Eskom said.
“This constrained supply situation may persist through the weekend.”
“We urge the public’s co-operation in managing demand in order to help us avoid load-shedding supply the country’s demand through the peak periods,” the power utility added.
Cold front incoming
A cold front is expected to hit Johannesburg this weekend, and Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said in an interview with Cape Talk that the cold weather has resulted in high demand for electricity.
“We’re seeing high demand due to the cold front. We’ve had to use all our resources – including burning diesel… Even that may not be enough,” Mantshantsha said.
“These machines – as we keep reminding the people of South Africa – are quite unreliable and prone to break down when they’re run hard.”
“At this point, if we have to (introduce load shedding) it might be stage 1,” Mantshantsha added.
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) July 9, 2020