South African will once again be plunged into darkness as power utility Eskom announced on Thursday morning that it will be implementing stage 3 load shedding until further notice.
This comes after failure of two units occurred at a power station during the course of Wednesday evening.
“Due to the failure of 2 units at Kendal Powe Station and a unit each at Kriel and Arnot power stations, stage 3 load shedding has been extended from 5am today (Thursday) until further notice,” Sikhonathi Mantshantsha, Eskom spokesperson said.
This is a huge blow for South Africans as the utility had on Wednesday announced a downgrade of load shedding from stage 4 to stage 3 until Thursday.
It was previously communicated that load shedding would be suspended at midnight.
Matshantsha said load shedding is implemented in order to replenish dam levels at the pump storage stations.
“This load shedding will be extended until 5am. Similarly, stage 2 load shedding will be implemented at 4pm on Friday and continue until 5am on Saturday,” he added.
“On Monday, Eskom announced stage 4 load shedding due to breakdowns of five generators at five power stations,” Mantshantsha said.
Chief operating officer (COO) Jan Oberholzer warned last week that the country will be dealing with persistent load shedding for at least 18 months before new generating capacity can be added to the grid.
“We need another year or year-and-a-half to get out of this,” Oberholzer said at the Agri SA conference near Johannesburg on Thursday.
“We are going to go through a tough time over the next year and a half.”
Eskom’s load shedding forecast through to August 2023 paints a bleak picture for South Africa’s electricity situation, noting that it has to keep unplanned outages below 13,000MW to avoid load shedding. The utility has struggled to keep breakdowns below 16,000MW.
Source: Business Tech, Eyewitness News, Herald Live, IOL, image from Twitter: @Yfm