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Eskom CEO Hadebe: 'Breakdown of 7 units could have been avoided'

On Monday, the utility implemented stage 4 load shedding, saying the system needed 4,000 megawatts off the grid to avoid a nationwide blackout.

Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe reacts to President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address at Parliament in Cape Town on 7 February 2019. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom's CEO Phakamani Hadebe has told Eyewitness News that the breakdown of seven of its units in a single day could have been avoided and needs to be investigated.

On Monday, the utility implemented stage 4 load shedding, saying that the system needed 4,000 megawatts off the grid to avoid a nationwide blackout.

Eskom has now announced that it will be implementing stage 3 load shedding from 8am on Tuesday morning as emergency reserves are still very low.

Hadebe says the utility is facing challenges at its old power stations and the newer powers stations are only producing half of what they should.

He says that the recent outages leave the utility with no choice but to tap into its reserves.

Hadebe says five of the seven units that broke down on Monday are back online and the remaining two should become operational in the course of the day.

“We had seven outages yesterday; we had seven units that had challenges. We’ve brought all five of them, one is already starting, the other by 2 pm will be fully operational. So, that assumes that we’re not going to have a trip at other power stations that are not in the circulation right now.”

However, he says that load shedding will continue at least until the end of the week.

Check your area's load shedding schedule here.

View a load shedding data map on Cape Town here.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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