Power utility Eskom announced that it would decrease load shedding intensity from stage 6 to stage 5 from 12pm on Sunday.
Eskom said this comes after recovery efforts over the last two days, which helped it replenished reserves.
“Over the past 48 hours, Eskom has successfully replenished its pumped storage dam levels and bringing back some generation units back to service.
“This has enabled the reduction of load shedding to stage 5 from 12:00 midday until further notice.
“Unplanned outages are at 17,595 MW (megawatts) of generating capacity, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is at 6,885MW,” Eskom said.
Hours before Eskom could make the announcement, the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, said the intensity of load shedding was likely to decrease as teams brought units back online.
Ramokgopa said around nine stations suffered unit failure because of boiler tube leaks, which has since been identified as a major area of concern for the state-owned power utility in the face of implementing the Energy Action Plan.
Nine units failed over the course of two days, costing the country’s grid a loss of 4,400 megawatts, plunging it into stage 6 load shedding at the weekend.
It was the first time in three months that South Africa had descended into stage 6, with Ramokgopa adding that stage 6 “is an outlier”, meaning it is not something that occurs frequently.
He said Eskom was outperforming its summer plan, having not experienced stage 6 load shedding in December and January.
“The other units that contributed to the total loss will be brought back online by this week. We can expect to see some difference by Tuesday or Wednesday.
“The nine units that failed did so because of boiler tube leaks.
“This is a problem we have spoken about before. We now have the proper teams on it to ensure that this problem is fixed,” the Minister said.