File picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko
File picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Stage 4 load shedding here ‘until further notice’

By Nicola Daniels Time of article published Mar 13, 2020

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Cape Town – South Africans can expect to live in the dark as Eskom announced it would continue implementing Stage 4 load shedding “until further notice”.

This, it said, was due to a shortage of generation capacity resulting from unplanned breakdowns.

“We expect that load shedding, at various stages, may continue into the weekend. The pump fault on Koeberg Unit 1 is being fixed and it is envisaged that the unit will be back in service at the weekend. 

"In the meantime, we continue utilising emergency generation reserves, including diesel, to supplement supply.

“As the ageing fleet is currently constrained, unpredictable and vulnerable, we advise South Africans that the stage of load shedding may change at short notice should there be any unexpected change in the generation system performance. 

"Demand has also risen incrementally since January,” the power utility said in a statement.

To make matters worse, Eskom said, they had also experienced an incident in their data centre that affected customers’ ability to log faults online. They said the system would be operational by tomorrow.

“Customers can log faults with Eskom call centres. However, the system is slower than normal and service delays are, unfortunately, inevitable. 

"It also needs to be noted that at this point the centres are unable to deal with commercial queries (billing, payments, etc) and all of the self-service channels (CS Online and the MyEskom Customer App) are also affected.”

Meanwhile, the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) said Eskom needed to be more realistic about the country’s precarious energy situation and “consider whether pushing the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station past its sell-by date was worth risking an energy catastrophe”.

“Safcei believes that the time has come for Eskom to move forward with decommissioning Koeberg, not extending its life. 

"If we mean to adequately address climate change, Eskom should move to focus its attention to unlocking the potential of renewable energy and incorporating it more substantially,” Safcei executive director Francesca de Gasparis said.

Cape Times

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