Eskom has announced that it will implement stage 2 load-shedding over the entire weekend, with rolling blackouts being lifted on Sunday evening.
Stage 2 load-shedding will begin from 12:00 on Friday 5 February 2021, the power utility said in a tweet.
“We regret to inform you that load-shedding stage 2 will be implemented from 12pm today until Sunday evening,” Eskom said.
Load-shedding will cease at 23:00 on Sunday evening, the power utility added.
The rolling blackouts have been implemented as a result of the heavy rainfall over the past few days, which caused problems feeding coal to boilers at the Medupi power station.
“The load-shedding has been exacerbated by the forced shutdown of five generating units at the Medupi Power Station as a result of the inability to get coal into the units due to the heavy rain in the Lephalale area last night,” Eskom said.
“The area experienced 65mm of rain, which added to the constraints caused by the heavy rains due to cyclone storm Eloise over the past two weeks.”
Eskom said it has implemented contingency plans to deal with the heavy rainfalls in Mpumalanga and Limpopo and its teams are working hard to return as many units to service as soon as possible.
Electricity price hikes coming
This follows after a recent announcement by the power utility that the price of electricity in South Africa will increase from 1 April 2021.
Eskom said that following three decisions made by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), it will be able to bring electricity prices more in line with the cost of producing energy.
Nersa will allow Eskom to recover an extra R6 billion following the review of previous decisions on electricity tariffs.
This amount will be recovered through price increases effected in April this year.
The extent of the price hikes have yet to be determined, Eskom said, although it hopes that this will be finalised before the end of February 2021.
Eskom noted that if the price of electricity is not aligned with the efficient cost of production, taxpayers will end up paying for the deficit via bailouts and government funding.
“If consumers do not pay, then the taxpayer would need to have to pay,” Eskom said.