Eskom load shedding

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Eskom: High risk of load shedding for the rest of the week

Due to both planned and unplanned maintenance.

Eskom load shedding

Image by Pexels

Eskom has warned South Africans of the high probability of load shedding this week, as the utility struggles to meet electricity demands.

Since the power supplier was awarded part of its requested tariff increases by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), the country has been left on tenterhooks. The approval was granted last week and if the extra cost hanging over consumers wasn’t enough to dwindle pubic faith; the recent risk of load shedding is sure to bring public frustration to the boil.

Eskom prices go up, lights threaten to go down

South Africans find themselves in a dubious position, with Eskom being the predicament’s puppet master. The utility, which has a current debt of R419 billion – a figure which is expected to breach the R500 billion mark by the time problematic power stations Medupi and Kusile are eventually built – just can’t seem to drag itself out of the doldrums of operational incompetence.

It seems, as a result of this ineptitude, load shedding will loom over the heads of South Africans for some time to come. Indeed, this is the word from Eskom itself, which, on Wednesday afternoon, released a statement warning citizens of impending blackouts.

While Stage 1 load shedding promises to be far less of an inconvenience than earlier rotational cuts – which reached stage 4 in February – the consistent failings of Eskom point to a more sinister future, one in which South Africa is held to ransom by an incompetent, yet equally vital, state owned enterprise.

Eskom load shedding, Wednesday 13 March 2019

Due to both planned and unplanned maintenance – the latter typified by power plant breakdowns and the loss of generating units – Eskom has exposed a volatile power grid, which, at any moment, may need to have its load shed. Eskom’s statement points to the week as being as ‘high risk’, saying:

“The power system remains tight and vulnerable and while Eskom is making every effort to return generating units online in order to limit load shedding, it could be implemented at short notice should there be a significant shift in plant performance.”