Eskom reports that Stage 4 load shedding is likely to continue until midnight at least until Wednesday. This is due to unlawful and unprotected labour action at a number of power stations, which has caused delays in carrying out planned maintenance and repairs. Furthermore, at a number of power stations, the full staff complement has not reported for duty. As a result, unplanned generation losses have not been reduced as planned, which has compelled Eskom to continue taking precautionary measures to conserve generation capacity and safeguard plant from damage. There is a possibility that the stage of load shedding may have to change at short notice, depending on the state of the plant and the availability of labour.
Currently approximately 4000 MW of generation capacity is at risk due to the illegal strike action. It is therefore necessary to replenish emergency generation reserves to be able to react to unforeseen circumstances. Adequate emergency reserves are crucial to assist with the generation deficit while dealing with generating units that may trip owing to unlawful action, and to compensate for the inability to return generating units timeously to service. Protracted strike actions may lead to further damage and prolonged delays to returning units to service, which would compound an already constrained power system.
The power utility has 3894 MW on planned maintenance, while another 15 472 MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns. In addition to this, a further 600 MW is unavailable due to a line fault in Mozambique which has interrupted supply from Cahora Bassa.
Eskom says that load shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid. We therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly especially during these uncertain times on the power system.
The organisation is also appealing to its labour partners and striking employees to put the people of South Africa first, respect the law and to desist from unlawful and undemocratic conduct. The labour dispute resolution process must be allowed to run its course without illegal acts of intimidation and damage to property. Eskom will consider all legal options at its disposal for damage caused or incited by union representatives.
Contact Eskom Media Desk, Phone 011 800-3433/5944/6050, email@example.com