JOHANNESBURG – It doesn't rain, it pours, in the dark and in the freezing cold weather expected this weekend.
Eskom has announced that it will be extending Stage 2 load-shedding this weekend from 8am until 10pm.
It had earlier announced Stage 2 load-shedding for the weekend between 5pm and 10pm.
This comes as South Africans in various parts of the country will be confronted by a cold front which is set to be accompanied by low temperatures, localised flooding, snow in some parts of the country and thunderstorms this weekend.
In a short statement, Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Matshantsha said the power utility was extending load-shedding to preserve diesel reserves which it is burning to keep the lights on.
“Eskom regrets to announce that the implementation of Stage 2 load-shedding will now be extended to Saturday and Sunday from 08:00 until 22:00.
“This is done to preserve the current diesel stocks in an attempt to contain the amount of load-shedding,” he said.
Eskom said it would continue to monitor the system and it was expecting a shipment of diesel on Monday.
“Eskom is expecting a ship containing diesel supplies to berth on Monday, and to offload its cargo through Tuesday.
“If the current burn rate persists, diesel would be depleted ahead of the ship offloading,” said Matshantsha.
Meanwhile, he added that a generating unit at the Duvha Power Station had tripped yesterday afternoon, while a generating unit each at Tutuka and Medupi power stations had been returned to service.
“Three generation units are expected to service tomorrow.
“This, however, will not be sufficient to meet the higher demand during the cold front over the weekend.
“We currently have 3 405MW on planned maintenance, while another 15 481MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.
“Eskom appeals to all South Africans to help limit the impact of load-shedding by reducing the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items.
“Eskom would like to remind the public that load-shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid.
“We therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly, especially between 5am to 9am in the mornings and 4pm to 10pm in the evenings,” he said.