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Eskom: Power grid severely constrained

South Africans may have to brace themselves for more load shedding later this week.

Electricity pylons in Johannesburg. Picture: EPA
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Local Business

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom says although the power grid remains severely constrained, load shedding will not be implemented during the early parts of this week.

On Sunday, the power utility declared a power emergency with industrial customers and escalated load shedding to stage two once again.

On Friday, the power utility began its scheduled blackouts across the country.

Large parts of Gauteng and the Western Cape were hit by rolling blackouts, with traffic lights out in many areas due to outages and the rain.

Eskom says it's experiencing an increase in demand due to the weather conditions and problems at the Majuba Power Station in Mpumalanga.

It says it's concerned about its diesel reserves, which could affect electricity supply later this week.

The utility's Andrew Etzinger says, “At this stage, the early part of the week is tight but manageable, and in the later part of the week there’s a chance of load shedding, as things stand at the moment.”

Etzinger says diesel supplier PetroSA is struggling to keep up with the rising demand.

“We’re struggling to get supply from our suppliers. We’re obviously working very hard with them to get that done.”

The utility has warned unless it gets a number of new power stations online soon, the situation in the country will remain at risk.

Meanwhile, South Africans may have to brace themselves for more load shedding later this week.

Etzinger says Eskom’s generators have struggled following the collapse of a coal silo at the Majuba Power Station earlier this month.

“The technical faults across the future Eskom power stations are a concern. We also need to get the performance of our generation feeds improved.”

Frustrated residents took to social media once again at the weekend to vent their frustration over the rolling blackouts. 

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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