Cape Town - A nationwide blackout is an unlikely scenario, despite the frequency of load shedding.
So said Eskom officials on Tuesday as they provided an update.
From the Duvha Power Station in Mpumalanga, Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said he would be visiting power stations during the day to assess the situation and to remove any obstacles, if possible, inhibiting performance.
On Tuesday, the power utility increased load shedding to Stage 4 until Friday as a result of the failure of generation units.
“We’ve recovered about 900 odd megawatts, but it’s still not nearly where we need to be in order for us to lift load shedding,” De Ruyter said.
“We are expecting a number of large units to return during the course of tomorrow (today), and if those units stay online and if they perform as expected, we should be able to consider lifting load shedding entirely by the start of the weekend,” he said.
After the briefing, Eskom announced the return to service of six generation units over the past 24 hours, and with three more units expected to return, load shedding has been reduced to Stage 3 until Friday.
“The units are coming back. We’re putting in every effort that we can to reduce load shedding as soon as we can. Again, we wish to issue an apology to the country for the load shedding that we unavoidably have to impose in order to prevent much greater inconvenience and risk of a total system blackout,” De Ruyter said.
The City of Cape Town said that in response to the move to Sage 3, its customers would be move to Stage 2 from 6am on Thursday morning until 10am.
Load-shedding update— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) April 20, 2022
City customers 20 and 21 April
Stage 3: Now until 06:00, 21 April
Stage 2: 06:00 until 22:00
Eskom customers are on Stage 4, moving to Stage 3 from 22:00.
Updates to follow.
The City continues to protect its customers as far as possible. #CTInfo pic.twitter.com/Y3Bd6xtstD
Eskom Transmission Group executive Segomoco Scheppers said the company was reasonably comfortable that the system was in balance.
“Recovery plans have been spoken about in terms of the units that are coming back online, and therefore we are not particularly concerned about this risk.”
Spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, said: “Within the Eskom system there are power stations that are designed specifically to reboot because we don’t have neighbours that can supply electricity.
“And there would have to be a few other steps before you get to a blackout scenario, and that would be past Stage 8 of load shedding, if we were to get that far.”