Eskom blackouts starting now

Update: Eskom is planning countrywide power cuts over the weekend to build up reserves, the parastatal said on Thursday.

“The electricity system will remain constrained tomorrow [Friday] and the risk of load shedding remains high,” it said in a statement.

“Eskom has also taken a decision to load shed over the weekend in order to build up reserves for the week ahead.”

The utility announced power cuts countrywide between 4pm and 10pm on Thursday.

“The power system is exceptionally constrained today due to unforeseen technical problems at power stations and depleted water reserves and logistical issues relating to diesel supplies at our peaking power stations.

“As a result Eskom has implemented stage two load shedding today as of 4pm until 10pm this evening.”

City Power said the rolling blackouts would affect several suburbs in Johannesburg. City power advised customers to check its Twitter account for regular updates. A load shedding schedule was available on its website.

The City of Tshwane and Cape Town warned residents of the blackouts on Twitter.

Original story

Eskom will start rolling blackouts countrywide at 4pm on Thursday because of low diesel reserves, the parastatal said.

“Unfortunately it is necessary to implement stage two load shedding from 4pm to 10pm,” spokesman Andrew Etzinger said.

“Diesel reserves… are basically depleted and we are therefore experiencing a difficult situation.”

Diesel was needed to run the open cycle gas turbines. These were power stations which used diesel to generate power.

Etzinger said the current demand for electricity was higher than Eskom’s capacity.

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Eskom blackouts starting now