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Eskom electricity pylons. (Brent Meersman)

Eskom load shedding: Power will be disrupted tonight, 31 July

Get your candles ready South Africa – Eskom load shedding will disrupt electricity tonight between the hours of 17:00 and 22:00.

eskom municipal debt

Eskom electricity pylons. (Brent Meersman)

A spokesperson for the national power supplier has confirmed that Eskom load shedding will affect South Africans on Tuesday night.

Many South Africans hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but were warned of impending load shedding strategies implemented to save the national electricity grid from becoming severely damaged.

Fin24 has now confirmed that Eskom load shedding will be taking place on Tuesday evening for five hours between 17:00 and 22:00.

Dikatso Mothae, Eskom’s deputy spokesperson, confirmed to Fin24 that the national electricity utility would be implementing Stage 1 load shedding.

What does Stage 1 Eskom load shedding mean?

Load shedding is implemented due to high demand or urgent maintenance being performed at certain power stations.

Stage 1 of the strategy requires that 1 000 MW of electricity be freed from the grid in an attempt to lighten the burden on the country’s electrical infrastructure.

Mothae commented on the imminent disruption of electricity, saying:

“We’ve been saying since [Monday] that ongoing industrial action has meant that some people have not been showing up for work and that there has been sabotage in our facilities which has been creating vulnerability in the system.”

Why is Eskom load shedding?

Earlier in the week, Eskom spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe, took to Twitter to announce the utility’s proposed load shedding strategy.

The most recent wave of electrical disruptions has occurred due to industrial action undertaken by dissatisfied employees and trade unions.

Eskom has previously stated that workers have purposefully sabotaged the electrical grid in protest against wage disparities and planned retrenchments.

Phasiwe confirmed that Matla in Mpumalanga, Koeberg in Cape Town and Arnot in Gauteng are the stations currently affected by the industrial action, saying:

“Sadly, Eskom has experienced a few incidents of intimidation at some power stations this morning. The public order police have been called in to calm the situation down. Coal trucking at Majuba & Duvha power stations have stopped due to acts of intimidation. This poses a threat to the security of power supply.”

This is a developing story – Eskom has advised residents to consult their official website in order to stay abreast on proposed load shedding schedules.