Eskom confirms Stage 3 load shedding, warns situation could change at short notice
Johannesburg - Eskom has confirmed that Stage 3 load shedding will continue until 5am on Monday, and again warned consumers that the situation could change at short notice.
"Load shedding, at Stage 3, will continue throughout the weekend until 05:00 on Monday," the embattled power utility said in a statement on Saturday evening.
"Due to the unreliable and unpredictable generating plant, the stage of load shedding may change at short notice in order to protect the grid. The teams are working to restore generating units to service. Eskom will provide regular updates on the system."
"Unplanned outages or breakdowns" were at 11 334 MW as at 4.05 on Saturday afternoon, while planned maintenance was at 5989 MW. Implementing stage three load shedding had enabled Eskom to reduce the usage of open cycle gas turbines and load shedding at night helped to replenish the levels of the hydro-pumped storage schemes to better prepare for the week ahead.
"While we regret short notice announcements, we remind customers that load shedding is a highly controlled process implemented by the system operator to ensure the security of the power system and to prevent a national blackout, which would be more disastrous to the country. Inconvenient as it is, load shedding is the only way to protect the entire electricity system," Eskom said.
Eskom also again reminded South Africans that there is a possibility of increased load shedding over the next 18 months as it conducted critical maintenance to restore the ageing generating plant to good health. Customers were urged to use electricity sparingly and to assist in reducing demand.
African News Agency/ANA