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City of Cape Town moves between Stage 2 and 3 load shedding for its customers while SA is on Stage 4

While the country will be on stage 2, the City of Cape Town said that residents will be on stage 1. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

While the country will be on stage 2, the City of Cape Town said that residents will be on stage 1. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Oct 27, 2021

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* This story has been updated

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town said that its customers will move between Stage 2 and 3 load shedding after Eskom announced today that Stage 4 load shedding will be implemented from noon until 5am on Thursday.

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Just before midday on Wednesday, Eskom said that due to a further shortage of generation capacity, it would have to move the country from Stage 2 load shedding to Stage 4.

Eskom said the implementation of Stage 4 load shedding is ’’no cause for alarm as the power system remains to be effectively controlled’’.

’’Over the past 24 hours, a unit each at Medupi, Kusile and Matla power stations tripped, while a unit each at Lethabo and Arnot power stations were forced to shut down,’’ the power utility said in a statement on Wednesday.

’’This constrained the power system further, requiring extensive use of emergency reserves and therefore hampering the recovery of these reserves.

’’Some generating units have returned to service and we anticipate another two units to return to service during the day.

’’In addition, Koeberg Unit 1 is expected to return to service today and begin ramping up to full output within 48 hours.’’

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The total breakdowns currently amount to 14 957 MW, while planned maintenance is 5 301 MW of capacity.

’’We remind customers that load shedding is implemented as a last resort to maintain the stability of the power system regardless of the stage of load shedding.“

’’The implementation of Stage 4 load shedding is therefore no cause for alarm as the power system remains to be effectively controlled.

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’’Eskom would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the implementation of load shedding, and requests the public to reduce the usage of electricity in order to help us through the constraints.

’’Eskom will communicate promptly should there be any significant changes to the power system.’’

Following the news, the City of Cape Town provided an update after the announcement and said that its customers will be on Stage 3 on Wednesday.

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However, later on, the City provided another update stating that its customers will alternate between Stage 2 and Stage 3 throughout the day.

Stage 2 will come into affect from midday until 6pm on Wednesday. Thereafter, Stage 3 will takeover from 6pm until 8pm, before City of Cape Town will move its customers to Stage 2 again from 8pm to 10pm.

The City then added that from 10pm afterwards, Stage 4 will be in place until 5am on Thursday morning.

The City explained that the move between the stages all depends on generation capacity and usage.

During the daytime, where capacity allows, City of Cape Town customers are protected from a stage of load shedding (Stage 1) due to the Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme.

Mayco Member for Energy and Climate Change, Phindile Maxiti said: “As we can see, the power situation is continually changing due to the problems at Eskom, even from one hour to the next. The City thanks its customers for their understanding.

“As a well-run city, investment and maintenance in infrastructure is done to ensure that assets such as the Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme (SHPS) and gas turbines can be used to assist where possible.

“The City also uses the SHPS as a way to reduce the tariff impact on customers by typically generating when the Eskom tariff is at the highest, to reduce exposure to the highest Eskom tariff for City customers.

“However, this amount of load shedding is simply unsustainable. The City continues to call on national government to expedite the processes related to independent power producers and the City remains committed to do everything in its power to reduce the heavy dependency on Eskom,” Maxiti said.

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