Eskom: Frequent power cuts expected this winter

The utility is still behind on maintenance work & won't be able to avoid load shedding for some time.

FILE. Despite Eskom’s maintenance work, the utility is still behind and won't be able to avoid load shedding for some time. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africans have been warned to prepare for more frequent power cuts this winter.

Despite Eskom's maintenance work, the utility is still behind and won't be able to avoid load shedding for some time.

Today, load shedding was implemented from 10am and will continue until 10pm.

POWER ALERT: Eskom will implement Stage 1 load shedding from 10am. It's likely to continue until 10pm.

It's something South Africans are expected to get used to, despite assurances from Eskom that it will do all it can to keep the lights on.

Energy expert Chris Yelland says more maintenance work is better in the long run.

"Maintenance has got to become part of business as usual, the normal thing to do all the time. We've also got this huge backlog that needs to be addressed, and it cannot be addressed in one summer season."

Several generators have broken down this week because Eskom says despite its maintenance festival over the long weekends, it has a major backlog and wasn't able to attend to many of its generators.

Eskom says it has lost about 400 megawatts from Mozambique, which has put the local power system under further strain.

There's a fault on the power line which South Africa uses to import electricity from its neighbour.

The utility has implemented stage one load shedding, which may be escalated to stage two later today.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says, "We have experienced some losses in some of our generating units."