Eskom announces stage 6 load shedding to kick off the week

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Eskom said it has had a number of breakdowns. PHOTO: iStock

South Africans are in for a rough start to the week after ailing parastatal Eskom announced stage 6 load shedding this weekend.

The higher levels of electricity rationing comes as a result of breakdowns of eight generation units on Sunday.

Stage 6 until further notice
“Stage 6 load shedding will be implemented continuously until further notice. Since Sunday afternoon a generating unit each at Arnot, Hendrina, Lethabo and Majuba, as well as two units at Camden Power Station have suffered breakdowns and taken offline for repairs,” said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

“Further, two generating units at the Lethabo Power Station were shut down due to coal constraints as the New Vaal Mine that is supplying the station has been unable to deliver the expected amount of coal during the past week because of the heavy rains.”

Further changes at short notice
Mantshantsha said given the high number of breakdowns, South Africans must prepare for further changes in the stages of load shedding at short notice.

“The three running units are operating at minimum capacity and are at risk of shutdown should the coal supply constraints not be resolved. A further update will be published as soon as any significant changes occur.”

“Breakdowns currently amount to 21 243MW of generating capacity while 3 566W of generating capacity is out of service for planned maintenance,” Mantshantsha said.

National state of disaster
The deliberate power cuts pushed President Cyril Ramaphosa last week to declare the Eskom crisis a national state of disaster with immediate effect during the State of the Nation Address.

The president also said he would appoint a minister of electricity in the Presidency and the minister will focus full-time on working with Eskom to end load shedding.

The Citizen