Cape Town – While Eskom announced on Tuesday that it would be forced to resume Stage 2 loadshedding from midday until 10 pm due to breakdowns in its generating units, the City of Town said its consumers will only be on Stage 1.
“Eskom regrets to inform the public that due to a severely constrained generation system as a result of multiple unit breakdowns, it has become necessary to implement stage 2 load shedding,” the state-owned company said, warning this was likely to persist for the rest of the week.
It said ten generation units at seven power stations had suffered breakdowns over the last 48 hours.
The city assured it consumers that it “will protect them from one stage of loadshedding for as long as possible.“
Eskom's load-shedding will be active from 12:00 until 22:00 today.
– Eskom customers and those shed by Eskom will be on Stage 2.
– City customers, shed by the City, will be on Stage 1 as we will protect them from one stage of load-shedding for as long as possible. #CTNews pic.twitter.com/MOxins8PWT
— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) September 1, 2020
Stage 2 load shedding entails suppressing 2 000 megawatts of electricity demand at a given time to avoid overwhelming and tripping the national grid.
Eskom said a generator each had broken down down at the Arnot, Medupi, Lethabo and Matla power stations, while two units each at Majuba, Camden and Tutuka power stations failed.
This, together with the need to conserve emergency generation reserves, necessitated rolling blackouts in order to protect the integrity of the system.
“Unplanned breakdowns stand at 11 665 MW of capacity, adding to the 4 558 MW currently out on planned maintenance,” the company said. “Any further deterioration in the generation performance may necessitate the escalation of loadshedding at short notice.”
Loadshedding has been a fact of life in South Africa for more than a decade due to breakdowns in Eskom’s infrastructure partly to years of inadequate maintenance. The utility supplies some 95 percent of the country’s electricity, most of it coal-fired.
Eskom’s problems are compounded by financial constraints largely blamed on years of mismanagement by senior executives, many of whom left the company under a cloud of allegations of corruption.
IOL and African News Agency/ANA