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Eskom implements rolling blackouts after 'unforeseen' technical problems

City Power's Sol Masolo says it’s not yet clear if the blackouts will be implemented again later this week.

FILE: Eskom has started stage one load shedding, citing unforeseen technical problems. Picture: Free Images.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has started stage one load shedding, citing unforeseen technical problems at its power stations.

The state-owned utility said it would cut up to 1,000 megawatts of demand.

Eskom says the grid is severely constrained and load shedding will continue until 10pm.

The parastatal is appealing to customers to visit its website for the load shedding schedule for details on where the power cuts will hit and when.

City Power's Sol Masolo says it's not yet clear if the blackouts will be implemented again later this week.

"Eskom didn't tell us yesterday that there was going to be load shedding so I'm not in a good position to say if it will be implemented for the rest of the week."

The power utility again appealed to the public to use electricity sparingly as it tries to build up reserves.

Meanwhile, City Power says it has stepped up its maintenance plan for the coming weeks to cope with the strain on the grid.

Energy expert, Chris Yelland, says load shedding will be a reality for several years if Eskom is going to clear the backlog of maintenance on its system.

"Load shedding is inevitable at this stage and the only surprise is it didn't happen earlier. The reality is that the parastatal doesn't have the space available to do the maintenance unless they load shed."

Last week, the utility emphasised that the system will remain vulnerable for some time and maintenance work would be intensified at power stations, meaning electricity cuts could be implemented if any issues arise.

The power utility also said if it stops importing electricity from neighbouring Namibia and Mozambique it will not be able to continue maintenance or avoid load shedding.

The utility currently imports 200 megawatts from Namibia and 1,500 megawatts from Mozambique.

To view load shedding schedules in your area, click here.

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