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Eskom escalates load shedding to stage two

The parastatal implemented stage one rolling blackouts at 10:30 this morning.

FILE: Eskom's offices in Sunninghill. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has moved load shedding to stage after implementing stage-one rolling blackouts at 10:30am.

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) says it will deploy over 150 officers to busy intersections during rolling blackouts scheduled for the next six months.

Yesterday, Sandton was gridlocked for most of the afternoon after Eskom implemented stage-two load shedding.

The JMPD's Edna Mamonyane says regional commanders will deploy officers according to the load shedding schedule to keep up with traffic volumes during outages.

Earlier, the utility said there was a medium to high risk of rolling blackouts, but has now confirmed it cannot meet electricity demand.

This is due to generators breaking down yesterday in addition to extensive maintenance work being underway.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger says the parastatal has a limited amount of capacity.

"Twenty-five percent of our generation fleet is currently not available due to technical problems and this has put us over the edge. So it is both the unit that tripped yesterday and a number of other ones we need to get back as soon as possible."

A calendar indicating that load shedding will take place regularly during February, March and April. Picture: Eskom.

After a relatively good start to the year, with rolling blackouts only implemented once this month, the situation changed yesterday when two generators broke down, forcing the utility to cut supply.

The utility has warned that due to extensive maintenance work taking place, any technical issues that arise will result in more load shedding.

Meanwhile, the rand weakened against the dollar yesterday when rolling blackouts were implemented and government is yet to announce details of its rescue plan to help the cash strapped utility.

Take a look at EWN 's feature on how to survive load shedding.

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