Eskom load shedding medupi explosion

Medupi Power Station. Photo: Flickr/Daithi McTageriousikious

Eskom can’t guarantee no Sunday load shedding, says system is volatile

The power utility implemented Stage 1 load shedding for Saturday.

Eskom load shedding medupi explosion

Medupi Power Station. Photo: Flickr/Daithi McTageriousikious

On Saturday, 19 October 2019, struggling power utility, Eskom revealed that it couldn’t guarantee if there would be load shedding on Sunday.

Eskom working to fix issue at Medupi Power Station

Eskom announces Stage 1 load shedding for Saturday, 19 October 2019. Photo: Twitter/@Eskom_SA

The state-owned power utility shared that its technicians were working at the Medupi Power Station to try and fix coal-related problems. The issues the power station was facing were the reason for the load shedding that South Africa has been going through for the last three days.

On Saturday, Eskom implemented Stage 1 load shedding from 9:00 until 23:00. The power utility explained how load shedding needed implementation this week due to a conveyer belt malfunctioning at the power station.

The conveyer belt was said to be used to transport coal. When the load shedding began, Eskom blamed it on the severe pressure that its generating units were incurring.

Eskom not certain if Sunday will face load shedding

Addressing whether Sunday would face the scheduled blackouts, Eskom’s Dikatso Mothae said:

“We will be in a better position to advise in terms of the prognosis for tomorrow because the system is still quite constrained and volatile.”

Dikatso Mothae, Eskom

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s load shedding, Mothae said:

“From our side, we obviously never want to be in a position where we are load shedding. For (Saturday) at least, the stage of load shedding will be reduced to one, from 9 am until 11 pm.”

Dikatso Mothae, Eskom

City Power struggling to do maintenance

The sudden load shedding hasn’t only affected South Africa’s economy, businesses, and residents, but it has also affected City Power. The electric utility company needs to maintenance work.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena revealed how it had to suspend maintenance at eleven substations. He explained:

“It is very critical that we do maintenance. That’s why it will often start from 8 am until 6 pm for one site. That’s really important for us to do. But now, it means that we are delayed due to load shedding and most of this work will fall back in terms of the schedule.”

Isaac Mangena, City Power spokesperson

Maintenance work suspended by City Power

The electric utility company does regular maintenance work to ensure that the network performs at an optimal level to avoid outages. Some of the areas where work has been suspended included the Franklin Roosevelt Park, Gresswold, Alexandra, and Halfway Gardens sub-stations.

Mangena shared that since load shedding began, it has been difficult for them to do their work without interruptions and safety concerns. He said:

“We also feel that it would be unfair to inconvenience customers over a long period so we decided that we should park it. We had hoped that at least by Monday we would know whether we could continue with planned maintenance or not but it would seem that Eskom is still having problems.”

Isaac Mangena, City Power spokesperson