/DEVELOPING | #LoadShedding Round-Up: SA suffering rolling blackouts as Eskom battles to keep grid operational

DEVELOPING | #LoadShedding Round-Up: SA suffering rolling blackouts as Eskom battles to keep grid operational

2019-12-10 11:59

South Africans are being hit hard by rolling blackouts across the country in the guise of load shedding by Eskom, further exacerbated by extreme weather conditions.

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SA ‘really close to the edge’ as Eskom forced to operate without 40% of capacity 

As Eskom implemented stage 6 load shedding for the first time on Monday evening, energy analyst Chris Yelland – speaking to Fin24 from a dark house and with an almost-flat cellphone battery – did not mince his words.

South Africa was “really close to the edge”, but the public generally has a lack of understanding about the seriousness of the electricity crisis.

“Believe me, stage 6 load shedding is bad.”

The struggling power utility ordered stage 6 rotational power cuts on Monday evening as it continued to battle capacity constraints caused by flooding and unplanned outages, including the failure of a power supply line feeding electricity conveyor belts feeding coal to silos at Medupi power station. 


Emergency services battling fire at Pretoria substation

A fire broke out at the Kwagga substation in Pretoria West on Tuesday morning. 

According to Jacaranda FM, Tshwane Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are battling the blaze that broke out at 03:00. 

EMS spokesperson Charles Mabaso told Jacaranda FM firefighters were dispatched from around 03:30 and have been fighting the blaze since then. 

Mabaso told the station that the situation had been complicated by the fact that now there was oil leaking from the substation itself.


Stage 4 load shedding to continue until 11pm on Tuesday 

After implementing stage 6 load shedding for the first time on Monday, Eskom says it will continue with stage 4 load shedding on Tuesday until 11pm. 

Stage 4 allows for up to 4 000MW to be cut from the national grid. 

Eskom has warned that cuts are likely to continue for the rest of the week as it battles severe capacity constraints caused by unplanned outages and flooding. On Monday it announced that heavy rains and floods at three power stations caused its already-reduced generation capacity to plunge further.


Stage 6 load shedding a major blow to growth, tax revenue – economists 

Economists have warned that the implementation of stage 6 load shedding for the first time would further dampen SA’s already poor economic growth prospects.  

Eskom on Monday announced it was implementing stage 6 load shedding, which allows for up to 6 000MW to be cut from the national grid.  It downgraded the load shedding level back to stage 4 at 10pm, but warned that cuts were likely for the rest of the week as the Eskom continues to battle severe capacity constraints caused by unplanned outages and flooding. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a statement, said that public anger over the “devastating” power cuts was understandable, while Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan apologised on eNCA. 


Ramaphosa: Public anger over ‘devastating’ power cuts is understandable 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that ongoing rotational power cuts are causing great harm to the economy and disrupting the lives of citizens. 

The Presidency on Monday evening issued a statement in response to Eskom taking the unprecedented step of instituting stage 6 load shedding at 6pm. Stage 6 was implemented until 10pm, when the power utility announced the load shedding level had been downgraded to level 4. 

Eskom announced on Tuesday that stage 4 load shedding would continue until 11pm on Tuesday, with high risks of cuts for the remainder of the week. 


Stage 6 load shedding: What you need to know 

In an unprecedented move, Eskom on Monday evening said it would introduce Stage 6 load shedding.

“We regret and sincerely apologise that stage 4 load shedding will move to Stage 6 load shedding as from 18:00 today, as a result of a shortage of capacity. This follows a technical problem at Medupi Power Station impacting additional generation supply,” the power utility tweeted. 

To date, Eskom has only implemented load shedding up to Stage 4. 

Stage 6 load shedding means shedding 6000 MW. It is an indication that Eskom has lost over 40% of its generating capacity, according to energy analyst Chris.

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