- Stage 6 loadshedding is currently in effect until further notice.
- As much as 21 243MW of generating capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.
- Despite a State of Disaster being declared 10 days ago, there is yet to be any action from government’s end as regards interventions.
On Saturday evening, Eskom upgraded loadshedding to Stage 6. While the utility was able to implement Stage 4 loadshedding on Sunday, the outlook for the week ahead is grim.
On Sunday, the utility reported that eight generation units had broken down necessitating the need to implement Stage 6 loadshedding continously. Generation units at Arnot, Hendrina, Lethabo, Majuba and Camden Power Station all suffered breakdowns. Furthermore, Lethabo has a coal problem.
“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. The three running units are operating at minimum capacity and are at risk of shutdown should the coal supply constraints not be resolved,” the utility wrote on Sunday.
As per the power alert above, there is 21 243MW of capacity unavailable due to breakdowns with 3 566MW unavailable due to maintenance.
There is of course the possibility of the stage ramping up further if there are more breakdowns or if Lethabo is unable to secure the coal it needs.
Nearly 10 days ago President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster as regards Eskom and government is yet to do, well, anything. This is alarming as government wasted no time in using the State of Disaster in 2020 to issue sweeping rules that negatively impacted the lives of millions of South Africans. Despite Stage 6 loadshedding and warnings of worse from Eskom at the weekend, government is silent.
Worse, the president hasn’t even been in the country this weekend – he was attending the AU summit in Ethiopia.
With Stage 6 loadshedding featuring up to 10 hours of power cuts, South Africans will need to do their best to navigate the pitfalls. We highly recommend making use of the EskomSePush app for Apple iOS and Android.
Charge your devices, download content for offline viewing and prepare for power cuts. It seems as if things will get much worse before they get any better.