South Africa: Stage 2 Load Shedding Expected Tonight

Power utility Eskom is expected to implement load shedding from 5pm this evening until 10pm.

The embattled electricity supplier has been facing severe constraints to the system since last week when several generation units tripped and others failed to return to service.

Consumers were given a small respite over the weekend when load shedding was suspended from Saturday afternoon but it was promptly reinstated on Monday evening also between 5pm and 10pm.

"Since [Monday] evening, a unit each at Arnot, Grootvlei and Matla power stations either tripped or were taken offline for repairs. At the same time two units were returned to service; one each at Kriel and Grootvlei power stations.

"The onset of winter has seen increased demand and this will lead to severe capacity constraints throughout this period, particularly during the evening and morning peaks. Unfortunately, this would generally require the implementation of load shedding during the evening peaks. Tonight Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented...with the possibility of higher stages should any further generation unit breakdowns occur before then," Eskom said.

Currently, the power utility has capacity losses amounting to 15 762MW with an additional 3 049MW out on planned maintenance.

"A generation unit each at the Kusile and Arnot power stations are expected to return to service this afternoon.

"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 and 9am in the mornings and 4pm and 10pm in the evenings," the power utility said.

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