File picture: Antoine de Ras/Independent Media.

Johannesburg - Power utility Eskom announced on Wednesday that Stage 2 load shedding would be effected after the  energy grid came under severe strain this week. 

South Africans started the year with rolling blackouts which were eventually halted in April when Eskom implemented an elaborate plan to keep the lights on for upto nine months. 

On Wednesday morning, South Africans woke up to bad news that Stage 2 loadshedding was back. 

We unreservedly apologise to South Africans for the negative impact this may have on them and want to assure the nation that we continue to work tirelessly to ensure security of energy supply,” said Eskom in a statement.

“As a result of the loss of additional generation, delays in the return to service of units that are on planned maintenance and limited diesel supply, it has become necessary to implement stage 2 rotational loadshedding from 9am until 11pm in order to protect the power system from a total collapse,” said the power utility.

The loss of power means many areas in Johannesburg may be affected with rolling blackouts for upto four hours at a time in the Johannesburg region. 

The areas to be effected on Wednesday, should the load shedding status remain on Stage 2, include the following areas: 

12-4.30pm 

Florida, Glen Lea, Industria North, Roodeport North, Delarey, Carenvale, Robertville, Stormill, West Lake, White Ridge, Alexandra, Allendale, Glen Austin, Klipfontein, Kyalami Estate, Vorna Valley nd Willaway. 

4-8.30pm 

Andara Park, Bryanbrink, Driefontein, Hyde Park, Linden, Northcliff, Robindale, Sharon Lea, Waterval, Windsor, Atholl, Bramley, Bryanston, Fairmont, Fairvale, Greenstone Hill, Houghton, Linksfield, Norwood, Morningside, Observatory, Modderfontein and Lyndhurst. 

8-11pm 

Berea, Constitutional Court, Dunkeld, Hillbrow, Joburg CBD, Killarney, Lehae, Lenasia, Marshalltown, Parktown East, Parktown North, Rosebank, Saxonwold East, Vlakfontein, Allen Lakes, Auckland Park, Braamfontein, Brixton East, Glen Vista, Crown, Langlaagte, Mayfair, Melville, Meredale, Milpark, Mondeor, Mulbarton, Pennyville, Tshepisong, Vrededorp and Vredepark.

Eskom said it had warned in September that to avoid further loadshedding, unplanned breakdowns needed to be contained below 9 500MW. 

“In the event generator breakdowns are experienced beyond 10 500MW there will be high usage of emergency resources (diesel and pumped storage generators), which may lead to loadshedding if the supply constraints is sustained for a long duration.

“The severe supply constraint being experienced has come about due to high levels of unplanned breakdowns that have exceeded the 10 500MW limit. The supply constraint is caused by, among others, five generating units that are unavailable due to boiler tube leaks. 

“In addition, a conveyor belt supplying Medupi Power Station with coal failed on Saturday 12 October resulting in low volumes of coal being supplied to the power station thus limiting the generating capability to approximately half the station output, said Eskom. 

The power utility called for consumers to save electricity by:

• Setting air-conditioners’ average temperature at 23ºC

• Switching off geysers over peak periods

• Setting your swimming pool pump cycle to run twice a day, three hours at a time for optimal energy use.

• Turning off computers, copiers, printers and fax machines at the switch. Avoid stand-by or sleep mode.

IOL