Load shedding: Eskom implements Stage 3 on Tuesday 12 February
Stage 3 national load shedding will last from 08:00 until 23:00 today.
Rotational load shedding will continue on Tuesday 12 February, with Eskom announcing Stage 3 cuts as ‘unavoidable’.
The national power grid is currently being placed under extreme pressure – largely due to Eskom’s incompetence, which emanates from disastrous power plant maintenance programmes. In less than three days, the situation has spiraled out of control – with many energy analysts warning that South Africa could soon face disaster as a result of a flailing grid.
Eskom ‘loses’ six generating units
Eskom, the nation’s power utility, recently reimplemented load shedding due to both planned and unplanned maintenance. For almost two months, South African’s were spared the indignity of rolling blackouts. What nobody could guess – not even President Cyril Ramaphosa himself – was just how swiftly Eskom would fall, plunging the country into protracted darkness.
Stage 1 cuts, implemented on Sunday, evolved into Stage 4 rotational load shedding in less than 24 hours. In that time, Eskom ‘lost’ six vital power generating units. According to former Eskom interim GCEO, Matshela Koko, the power utility lost 40% of its operating capacity in one fell swoop. Koko took to Twitter to really sink the knife into his former employees, saying:
“Stage 4 load shedding means the electricity system is short 4000MW to keep the grid stable – which is about the full size of Kendal Power Station. This is the very first time in the history of Eskom.
Stage 4 also means that Eskom is failing to meet a peak demand of 27 000MW when it has the installed capacity of 45 000MW. This means around 40% of generating capacity is not available… This is gross incompetence at the very top.”
Energy analyst Ted Blom described the situation as “absolutely disastrous”. President Ramaphosa said that he was ‘shocked’ and ‘angry’. For the ordinary South African, Eskom’s gargantuan failures spell frustration and fear – the far-reaching impact of a crippled power grid cannot be understated.
Stage 3 load shedding on Tuesday 12 February
On Tuesday morning, Eskom dialed back the alert to Stage 3, issuing a statement, explaining that while ‘some’ of the previously defunct units had been brought back to life – the utility still remains weak, saying:
“Eskom will implement Stage 3 national load shedding from 08h00 today and its likely to continue until 23h00. Despite the generating units returning to service as planned, the emergency reserves (water and diesel) are still very low.”
Stage 3 allows for up to 3000 MW of the national load to be shed and increases the frequency of Stage 2 by 50%, which means areas will be scheduled for load shedding 9 times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or 9 times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.
Eskom also announced that its executive structures would be attending an emergency meeting with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday, to discuss a contingency plan to halt the downward spiral.
Here’s how you can check Eskom’s daily load shedding schedule. Click here
Forewarned is forearmed – knowing when you’re going to be left without electricity can help you prepare.
Source: The South African