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Eskom: Power system strained due to depleting water

Eskom says it's aiming to build up enough power reserves to minimise disruptions on Monday morning.

FILE: Eskom says it's aiming to build up enough power reserves to minimise disruptions on Monday morning. Picture: EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says the country's power system is extremely constrained due to depleting water and diesel reserves at its power stations.

Large parts of Gauteng and the Western Cape are without power today as Eskom's implemented load shedding to help ease the strain on the power grid.

Stage two of load shedding has started in parts of the country, with some areas experiencing lengthy outages.

Stage two means the frequency of power cuts has been increased.

Earlier this month, a coal storage silo at the Majuba Power Station in Mpumalanga collapsed, resulting in widespread power cuts.

The silo held more than 10,000 tons of coal and affected coal supplies to all six units at the power station.

Eskom's Tony Stott said, "We need to implement the load shedding to build up the reserves at our pump storage schemes. We need to be able to pump the water back into the dam so that next week we are able to meet the demand for electricity."

The power utility says it's aiming to build up enough power reserves by the end of the weekend to minimise disruptions on Monday morning.

This is the third time the utility has implemented load shedding this year.

THUNDERSTORMS FORECAST FOR JHB

The wet weather which is forecast for parts of Gauteng this weekend, could place further strain on the already fragile power grid.

Weather forecaster Bransby Bulo says the wet weather is expected to hit Johannesburg later today.

"There is a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms for this afternoon and for Sunday there is an 80 percent chance of rain."

Consumers have been urged to cut back on consumption to avoid a national blackout.

To view the load shedding schedule, click here.