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Eskom load shedding at crisis levels, says energy expert

Energy expert Chris Yelland says that stage four load shedding on a weekend is unprecedented and the situation needs urgent attention.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa says that the country needs to pull together to help Eskom overcome its challenges.

Ramaphosa says Eskom is currently battling to keep the lights on because of various issues including state capture, corruption and mismanagement.

The power utility resumed stage 4 load shedding across the country at the weekend as it experienced further declines in water reserves which are used to supplement generation capacity.

• How to check your load shedding schedule

Ramaphosa says that government is working hard to come up with a solution.

“Medupi and Kusile power stations are not performing at the level that they were designed for, so there’s misdesign there and we’re trying to restore as much energy as we can. The serious challenges and problems at Eskom, which we’re now going to be addressing more sharply.”

While Eskom warns South Africans to brace for more load shedding this week, there are concerns that the latest blackouts point to a bigger crisis than initially thought.

Energy expert Chris Yelland says that stage four load shedding on a weekend is unprecedented and the situation needs urgent attention.

Eskom said that load shedding is unavoidable this week.

The power utility said its electricity generation system is still under pressure due to the decline in its water reserves.

Yelland said the situation has reached crisis levels.

"It should never happen that you have stage 4 load shedding in summer months when electricity demand is low, on a Saturday; it’s truly startling and a huge crisis."

However, he said there are solutions to Eskom’s problems.

"To sort out the problems of unplanned breakdowns by doing better and proper maintenance. This is not just a quick fix, it can take time and money, but we’ve already got the capacity. We just need to get it working."

Yelland added that Eskom needs to act fast before the winter season starts.

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