Picture: EPA/Kim Ludbrook
Eskom has started its 10-day system restoration following the effects of industrial action on the grid.

In the meantime, the parastatal has said there was a low probability of load shedding during the day, but it might be a reality during peak hours from 5pm to 9pm. The restoration processes include:

Coal management and transportation.

The absence of operating staff means Eskom is unable to transport coal from stockyards to coal bunkers;

Managing diesel levels at 50% to ensure that sufficient diesel generation is available for emergencies.

Addressing bottleneck in routine maintenance due to lack of resources.

Unions and Eskom management are at loggerheads over whether to grant workers a salary increase of 15%, which has impacted on electricity production.

“Should rotational load shedding be implemented, it would be for a period up to four hours.

‘‘Eskom will advise if rotational load shedding will be conducted in either stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 or stage 4, dependent on the capacity shortage.

‘‘Stage 1 requires 1000MW to be rotationally load shed nationwide, stage 2 requires 2000MW, stage 3 requires 3000MW and stage 4 calls for up to 4000MW to be rotationally load shed nationally in that given period.

“Load shedding is conducted as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.

“While safety of employees remains our first priority, recovery teams at our power stations continue to work hard to stabilise the power system and to return our generation plant as quickly as possible.

‘‘Eskom’s prognosis is that the power system will take up to approximately 10 days to recover from the effects of the recent industrial action, once all staff eventually return to work today,” Eskom said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the DA has called for reforms at Eskom to break the monopoly of the power utility if it was to be sustainable into the future, especially in the wake of the latest round of load shedding.

Yesterday, the official opposition said it was drafting legislation on the reforms, which would be released in a month or two, to ensure there was a mix of energy sources.

“The entity is not going to be sustainable, but will keep itself fiscally dependent on South Africa’s revenue and ultimately cripple the economy if no profound reforms take place,” said DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

Load-shedding schedules are available on the Eskom website (loadshedding.eskom.co.za).

Eskom customers can also contact the customer contact centre at 0860 037 566.