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Tuesday: Stage two load shedding implemented

Eskom says rolling blackouts will take place across the country until 10pm this evening.

FILE. Rolling blackouts will take place across the country until 10pm this evening. Picture: Free Images.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has implemented stage two load shedding across the country until 10pm tonight.

The utility says it needs to maintain load shedding at stage two throughout the day to prevent the system from going into an automatic shutdown.

It says this is due to equipment failing to come back online after maintenance at power stations over the weekend.

Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says, "We're doing everything that we can do so that we have to prevent a total blackout. A blackout is when the system automatically collapses. We have to take this precautionary measure of making sure we reduce the load."

The power utility says South Africa's power grid is heavily constrained and has warned that load shedding could be escalated to stage three at short notice.

#Eskom regrets to announce that stage 2 #load_shedding will be implemented from 06:00 to 22:00 today. Follow

https://t.co/pacTUUT1x8

#Load_shedding is a necessary measure to protect the power system.

As the power system is constrained and vulnerable any unexpected changes could lead to a change in the #load_shedding stage at short notice.

Yesterday, Eskom also implemented stage two load shedding for most of the day.

SMALL BUSINESSES AND MUNICIPALITY DEBT

Meanwhile, there are fears the country's small businesses will be forced to close if Eskom goes ahead with its bulk electricity interruption plan.

Last Friday, the utility announced it was owed about R4.6 billion in outstanding fees, and therefore the top 20 defaulting municipalities could face up to eight hours per day with no power, if they don't pay up.

This has raised serious concerns from individuals and businesses who have been paying regularly, along with questions as to why certain municipalities are so behind in paying their bills.

TOP 20 IN DEBT MUNICIPALITIES:

  • Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality

  • Matjhabeng Municipality

  • Emalahleni Local Municipality

  • Ngwathe Local Municipality

  • Thaba Chweu Local Municipality

  • Lekwa Local Municipality

  • Govan Mbeki Municipality

  • City of Matlosana Local Municipality

  • Naledi Local Municipality

  • Thabazimbi Local Municipality

  • Msukaligwa Local Municipality

  • Lichtenburg Municipality

  • Nala Local Municipality

  • Makana Local Municipality

  • Madibeng Local Municipality

  • Randfontein Local Municipality

  • Dihlabeng Municipality

  • Nketoana Local Municipality

  • Nama Khoi Local Municipality

  • Westonaria Local Municipality

AHi Business Chamber's Christo van der Rheede says if Eskom goes ahead with this plan many people could lose their jobs.

"What we are suggesting is that Eskom supply directly to small business only. Give an alternative to small businesses; those who want to purchase electricity through the municipality or those who want to purchase directly, that's the only solution."

Van der Rheede says despite meeting with government recently and being promised transparency, they were not informed about this plan, which could be disastrous for business.