Load shedding begins around the country
This weekend Eskom’s limited generating capacity is due to urgent planned maintenance.
JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says South Africans should brace themselves for another weekend with no lights as stage two of load shedding commences today.
The power system is severely constrained due to limited diesel reserves for the open gas turbines, weather conditions and ongoing problems at the Majuba Power Station in Mpumalanga.
Earlier this month a coal silo at Majuba collapsed and that led to rolling blackouts across the country.
This weekend, however, limited generating capacity is due to urgent planned maintenance.
Eskom warned this week that rolling blackouts could continue into next year, as the power grid has come under strain due to a number of problems in recent months.
Generating capacity has been an issue for some time and this can only be rectified once new power stations come online.
The utility's Tony Stott says one of the main reasons for the blackouts this weekend is due to maintenance locally and abroad.
"We normally get 1,500 megawatts from Cahora-Bassa in Mozambique and they will be doing maintenance on Sunday, so for the majority of Sunday we won't have access to those megawatts."
Customers can plan ahead and check the load shedding schedules by clicking here.
Last weekend, there were rolling blackouts throughout the country and the system was extremely tight, with the wet weather in Gauteng adding to a difficult two days for consumers.
Eskom says it's not considering forced retrenchments at this stage, but due to its financial position, it's now offering staff voluntary severance packages.
The parastatal says the applications, due in February, will be considered on a case-by-case basis but operational requirements will be considered to ensure core skills are not lost.
The power utility released its financial report showing it made a profit of R9.3 billion in the first six months of the financial year, this is down by 24 percent compared to the same period in 2013.