Loadshedding Stage 4 indefinitely as breakdowns mount up

  • More breakdowns at Eskom’s power stations have forced the utility to forgo Stage 3 and simply implement Stage 4 for the rest of the week.
  • Eskom said that a backlog of maintenance at power stations is causing the current predicament.
  • The utility says it will provide more updates if any significant changes occur.

The latest update from Eskom has ruined our day and yours as the state-operating utility says that multiple faults have erased Stage 3 from the picture, and forced Stage 4 blackouts for the rest of the week.

This comes after a week with particularly high loadshedding, with Stage 6 implemented for most of last week. In a media briefing Eskom executives declared that outages would be better by weekend, but that the entire grid was now dealing with a backlog of repairs at power stations.

This backlog is apparently causing ongoing problems across the Eskom fleet.

“Over a period of time the generating units had been exploited without the necessary maintenance, planned maintenance, and that has caught up with us,” said Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa last week.

“Due to the failure of generating units at Arnot, Duvha and Grootvlie power stations, as well as the delay in returning generating units to service, Stage 4 loadshedding will be implemented from 12:00 today until further notice,” reads the utility’s latest X update.

It adds that it will publish another update if any significant changes were to occur. The decision to maintain Stage 4 mirrors last week’s predicament, as Eskom set the country on Stage 6 outages from Monday due to, again, breakdowns and delays in repairs.

If more breakdowns occur, chances are that higher stages will be implemented before the week is up. Just last month, Ramokgopa claimed that the utility was seeing high levels of energy availability, but that an increased schedule of maintenance meant that South Africans would be bereft of more power for more hours of the day.

Higher stages of loadshedding continue to add huge costs to South Africa’s businesses. Shoprite Group revealed that it spent R1.3 billion to run diesel generators at its shops in the three months to July 2023.

[Image – Photo by Makarios Tang on Unsplash]


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