Load shedding to continue at stage 4

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Eskom, the country’s struggling power utility announced that stage four load shedding will continue until further notice.

The state utility said in a statement on Sunday evening that they will provide updates as soon as they can.

More breakdowns
Eskom said that their power stations, Camden, Grootvlei, Lethabo and Majube had suffered breakdowns and are undergoing repairs.

“While a unit each at Kriel and Lethabo power stations [was] returned to service. The return to service of a unit each at Duvha, Matla and Tutuka power stations have been delayed.”

The parastatal said planned maintenance is to 6 049MW “while breakdowns currently amount to 17 163MW of generating capacity.”

They urged the public to assist in reducing the usage of electricity and use it sparingly.

Load shedding whiplash
Just two days ago, the princes of darkness over at the powerless parastatal announced that stages 4 and 5 load shedding would be implemented from 5 am on Thursday until Sunday afternoon.

The higher stages came courtesy of breakdowns each at Camden, Kendal, Lethabo and Majuba power stations earlier this week.

South Africans are left with the grim reality that rolling blackouts are now part of our existence, with permanent load shedding at stages 2 and 3 to be implemented on ‘good days’ over the next two years.

Eskom’s myriad of problems
The parastatal is also plagued with corruption at major plants, organised crime syndicates targeting coal trucks and a skills drainage problem with skilled workers either leaving for more lucrative opportunities overseas or via retrenchment.

On top of that, Eskom’s delicate financial situation is impacting its ability to buy diesel to run its back up power stations.

If that wasn’t enough, a recent decision by the US to suspend a pact that enables South Africa to buy nuclear fuel for its flagship station Koeberg has been suspended.

The Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy between the US and South Africa expired on December 4.

The Citizen