Load-shedding is back in South Africa – Here is what you need to know

Rolling blackouts have returned to South Africa, following a series of announcements by Eskom regarding the constrained state of its power system.

Eskom has announced on Twitter that stage 2 load-shedding would be implemented from 12:00 until 22:00 on Friday 10 July 2020.

This announcement followed less than one hour after Eskom warned of an increased risk of load-shedding across the country over the weekend.

“Due to the increase in generation unit breakdowns, Eskom regrets to inform the country that it will implement Stage 2 load-shedding starting at 12:00,” Eskom said on Twitter.

“This will continue until 22:00. This load-shedding has been caused by an increase in plant breakdowns exceeding 3,000MW of capacity.”

Eskom said it is working hard to return as many of these generation units to service as possible.

The power utility added, however, that this situation may persist throughout the weekend.

Public help

Eskom has appealed to South Africans to help reduce the load on the national power grid, stating that assistance from the public helped to avoid load-shedding on Thursday evening.

“We also request the public to reduce electricity usage between 16:00 and 22:00 in order to assist us in limiting the incidence load-shedding,” Eskom said.

“Over the past two evenings, the help of the public assisted us in avoiding the need for load-shedding.”

“With your help, Eskom can again recover from this much quicker,” it said.

Only 3 days expected

Addressing concerns of load-shedding returning after the national COVID-19 lockdown, Eskom previously said that it only expected to have a maximum of three days of load-shedding during the winter season.

The power utility said it expected “little-to-no” load-shedding during winter.

It added that if stage 1 and stage 2 load-shedding are required in winter, these power cuts will probably only be implemented in the evening.

“Although the base case scenario after lockdown maintenance results in an improvement from 31 days of Stage 1 load-shedding to a possible three days – it is important to recognise that due to the current unreliability and unpredictability of the system, the risk for load-shedding remains,” Eskom previously said.

“This will be the reality until after the 18 months of reliability maintenance.”

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Load-shedding is back in South Africa – Here is what you need to know