Eskom’s official Twitter account has alerted the public that load shedding has returned.
Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 9am to 11pm on Wednesday due to a “shortage of capacity”, the struggling energy utility confirmed.
A media statement will be issued later today with more details.
#PowerAlert Due to a shortage of capacity stage 2 loadshedding is to be implemented from 9 am to 11pm today. Media statement with more details to follow @CityPowerJhb @City_Ekurhuleni @CityTshwane @CityofJoburgZA @CityofCT @ewnupdates @SABCNewsOnline @IOL @eNCA @SAgovnews
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) October 16, 2019
ALERT⚠️:City Power received alert from Eskom concerning stage 2 load-shedding today between 09:00 -23:00. Load-shedding is not confirmed yet. If confirmed the following blocks will be affected:
9:00-23:00 (6B&2A),12:00-16:30 (7B&3A),16:00-20:30 (8B&4A),20:00-23:00 (1A & 5A).^LP
— @CityPowerJhb (@CityPowerJhb) October 16, 2019
The return of load shedding sees Eskom do an about-turn, after assuring customers in September that no load shedding was planned for either September or October, following a statement from the Democratic Alliance (DA) claiming that it had received “reliable information” that Eskom had been warning municipalities that rolling blackouts would soon be upon the country again.
“We have not communicated to any stakeholder that there will be load shedding,” Eskom said.
“Eskom communicated its summer plan on the 4th September 2019 at a media briefing held at Megawatt Park, where we indicated that while no load shedding is expected over summer, the risk however remains as the system is still tight and vulnerable, as we ramp up plant maintenance.
According to Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, who spoke at a briefing when load shedding returned back in March, a lack of maintenance was the main factor that had led to the resurgence of the unpopular planned outages.
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza also spoke, echoing Gordhan’s view on maintenance and conceding that the state company had not spent enough on this over the past five years, while new plants Medupi and Kusile had not come on stream.
He admitted that in his view, the construction of these two plants was “misguided”.
“Money was not spent on maintenance, the question has to be what was that money spent on,” Mabuza said. “The reality is that we now have a plant that is falling off, owing to no maintenance.”
The struggling energy utility suffered a R20.7 billion loss in the last financial year.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman.) / The Citizen