News and updates from the continent


More warnings from Eskom as SA battles electricity woes

More warnings from Eskom as SA battles electricity woes

Jan 25, 2015

Tuesday 27 January 2015 – Parts of South Africa were once again plunged into darkness as Eskom implemented stage two load-shedding yesterday, due to “technical problems at power stations”.

Users were warned of a 1 000 megawatt cut, with another warning following from Eskom that that stage two load-shedding was commencing. “We are currently load-shedding in stage 2 in some areas due to high demand or urgent maintenance being performed at certain power stations,” the power giant said.

Eskom said it had been forced to load-shed from 11am until 10pm. “Due to unforeseen technical problems at our power stations, the power system is severely constrained. Eskom will load shed from 11:00,” a statement warned on Monday.

Stage one load shedding allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be shed, stage two for up to 2000MW, and stage three for up to 4000MW.

At a meeting on Tuesday 13 January, Group CEO Tshediso Matona addressed business on the growing power crisis in South Africa, saying the country’s power supply would remain “severely constrained” in the coming months while Eskom dealt with its maintenance backlog.

Eskom spokesman Andrew Etzinger said on Tuesday 27 January that the “grid is exceptionally tight. There is a medium to high chance of load shedding today if we do see further technical challenges developing”.

Taking to its Twitter feed at 09:00 on Tuesday – where messaging again appeared to be vastly different, depending on the news source – the utility posted: “Eskom will implement load-shedding stage 1 from 10.30am today. It is likely to continue until 10pm. We will give updates throughout the day.”

While consumers continue to seek accurate information on actual times and dates of load-shedding, local municipality sites and the Eskom website itself reportedly “difficult to understand” or have a number of regions “missing”.

Suppliers around the country are reporting that inverters and other methods of keeping homes and small businesses running are “selling out quickly or sold out entirely”. Those who may be affected are advised to keep mobile devices charged when possible and ensure food sources  for the elderly, babies and the sickly are safe.

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