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Eskom announces stage 3 load shedding starting this wee...

South Africa


Stage 3 load shedding starting this week

The authors argue that the focus of the South African government’s intervention should be on mobilising thousands of economic actors throughout the economy to take the necessary steps to bring new capacity to the national grid online urgently. (Photo: Unsplash)

Proving their point, Eskom has announced load shedding until they have at least an additional 4,000MW of generation capacity to allow them the space to take some of their units off for planned maintenance.

“The risk of load shedding, unfortunately, remains,” warned Jan Oberholzer, Eskom group chief operating officer at a state of the system briefing last Wednesday.

Proving their point, Eskom announced on Sunday, 15 May, that Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented tonight (from 5pm to 10pm), and escalate to Stage 3 on Monday and Tuesday evening at the same time, due to a continued loss of generating capacity. 

Stage 2 will then continue for the rest of the week.

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At the system update, along with CEO André de Ruyter, Oberholzer continually emphasised that the power utility is in urgent need of 4,000 to 6,000MW of additional generation capacity to allow them the space to take some of their units off for planned maintenance.

And until this capacity is met, the risk of load shedding remains.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha explained that since Saturday evening Tutuka, Camden and Majuba power stations each experienced a breakdown on one of their units.

Mantshantsha said, “we currently have 2,094MW on planned maintenance, while another 17,640MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.”

De Ruyter explained in the system update last week that we need 4,000 to 6,000MW of additional capacity, “in order to give us the headroom to take units out on planned maintenance and carry out that maintenance and return the units to service as planned.”

Oberholzer and his executive team explained that generation problems are rooted in lack of sufficient generation capacity, which Eskom says is aggravated by equipment age, insufficient funds for maintenance and additional system space.

Mantshantsha ended his statement by reminding South Africans that “load shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid,” and appealed to the nation to help limit the impact of load shedding by  using electricity sparingly by switching off all non-essential items, especially between 5am and 9am and 4pm and 10pm. DM


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  • The worst thing (aside from the obvious), is that the person who should be blamed for this is Minister Gwede Mantashe, who barely receives a mention. He is so focused on nuclear (and possibly his pocket) that he delays the easiest, most logical, signing of whatever is needed to allow IPP to build wind, sun, etc capacity.

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