Eskom load shedding

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Load shedding: Eskom implements Stage 2 on Thursday 14 February

For the fifth consecutive day, South Africans will be hit by rotational power cuts.

Eskom load shedding

Image by Pexels

Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented on Thursday 14 February with Eskom reporting ‘slight improvements’ in its operational capacity.

Wednesday had the propensity to turn very ugly for Eskom and, via proxy, the general South African public. After seven generating units lost complete functionality earlier in the week, Eskom struggled to bring stability back to the national gird. Yesterday, a nationwide workers’ strike spearheaded by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) threatened to seriously disrupt Eskom’s already flailing operations once more.

COSATU issues fierce threats

COSATU, which successfully led mass marches in eight major cities yesterday, has been critical of the issues facing Eskom. Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promise to unbundle the power utility, trade unions, fearing job losses as a result of privatisation, vowed to fight the restructuring strategy. Demonstrations in Johannesburg reached a climax when a memorandum was delivered to Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe. Following the hand-over, COSATU’s demonstration leader issued this war cry to the thousands of red-clad supporters in the street:

“We want to tell the CEO [Hadebe]: there is no unbundling that is going to take place while we are still alive. We must defend Eskom, even if it means we must defend it with our blood.”

Load shedding on Thursday 14 February

While it’s still to be seen whether these threats will materialise, Eskom reported that despite earlier fears, the COSATU national strike did not impede on its operations. This slight reprieve has granted Eskom the opportunity to bring more power to back to the grid, by increasing its capacity. Still, the situation remains volatile. In its latest public statement, Eskom said:

“Due to some improvement in generation performance and the notable strides made in replenishing water and diesel reserves, Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 08h00 to 22h00 on Thursday.

While losing three units totalling 823MW, one unit of 600MW was successfully returned to service today [Wednesday] as planned.”

The situation, although improving greatly from the previous Stage 4 schedule, still remains dire. This is according to the Department of Public Enterprises, which admitted that Eskom’s financials are so dismal, it’s unlikely that the company will be able to stay afloat beyond April 2019.

To see whether your suburb will experience rotational cuts today, here’s how to check the daily load shedding schedule.