- Eskom expects loadshedding to worsen as the week progresses despite suspending blackouts during the weekend.
- According to an announcement, Eskom will move to Stage 2 on Monday evening, and Stage 3 on Wednesday evening.
- Eskom’s suddenly improved generation capacity coincides with the EFF’s mass protest action, where it calls for the end of loadshedding.
*UPDATE: This morning Eskom announced that it will suspend loadshedding from 11:00 until 16:00 on Tuesday 21st March, whereafter Stage 2 will be implemented. It says that it saw “significantly lower than anticipated demand for electricity today.”
Original article follows:
Owing to improved generation capacity across its power stations, Eskom managed to halt loadshedding for several hours during the weekend, only for blackouts to return at 05:00 on Monday morning. South Africans have dealt with electricity cuts nearly every day since the beginning of the year.
On Sunday, South Africa’s power utility published the loadshedding schedule for the first half of the upcoming week, and while first few days of the week will feature light levels of power cuts, by Wednesday evening the country will return to Stage 3 outages.
According to Eskom’s announcement published to Twitter, breakdowns across its power stations are currently taking 15 645MW of generating capacity from the national grid, while a further 4 942MW of capacity is out of service due to routine repairs.
A power generating unit at the Duvha Power Station was taken offline in the last 24 hours for repairs, while delays in returning units at Matla, Tutuka and Medupi stations continue. This is likely why Eskom is expecting heightened levels of loadshedding as the week progresses.
This week’s loadshedding schedule will see the country at Stage 1 until 16:00 on Monday, whereafter it will go to Stage 2 until 05:00 on Tuesday morning, where it will be suspended until 16:00.
Stage 2 will then return at 16:00, and will be maintained until 16:00 on Wednesday when Stage 3 will come into effect. Eskom says it will provide updates “as soon as any significant changes occur.”
Eskom’s surprising loadshedding suspension coincides with the Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) mass national shutdown protest, planned for Monday. The political party, often regarded as the third most influential in South Africa, is protesting for the end of loadshedding and for President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign.
Last week we decided to ask Microsoft’s newly re-released Bing chatbot, now powered by ChatGPT, a few questions about the EFF’s protest in efforts to test out its local usability. We were surprised by how well the AI-enhanced search engine managed the questions, and we learned a few insights into how the new Bing functions.