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Eskom implements stage 2 load shedding

It said this was due to capacity shortage and that the blackout would last from 9 am until 11 pm.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom is due to implement stage 2 load shedding on Wednesday.

It said this was due to capacity shortage and that the blackout would last from 9 am until 11 pm.

Stage two load shedding is implemented when the utility has to free 2,000 megawatts from the national power grid due to high demand or urgent maintenance.

Eskom said it was conducting maintenance work on its infrastructure but was now battling to bring some units back online.

Meanwhile, in Johannesburg, City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said: “We are forced as City Power to follow on what Eskom is doing. We will be using the same schedule that we used during the past load shedding and we’ll keep customers updated.

In September, Eskom made assurances that the country would not be left in the dark following speculation by experts and opposition political parties that load shedding was likely to return in then or in October.

In winter, the utility was forced to effect load shedding even reaching stage 4, which left major parts of the country without power for weeks wiping off billions from the South African economy.

Energy analyst Chris Yelland said Eskom continued to show that it was inefficient.

“I would imagine they’re going to do everything possible to avoid it but the political consequence of load shedding today will be truly enormous.”

A debilitating round of power cuts in February and March dented first-quarter economic output and reminded investors of the uphill struggle President Cyril Ramaphosa faces to revive Africa’s most industrialised economy.

Eskom produces more than 90% of the power in South Africa but has been hobbled by technical faults at its fleet of coal-fired power stations as well as a financial crisis that has severely hurt its liquidity position.

The government plans to split Eskom into three units for generation, transmission and distribution to make it more efficient. It is also giving Eskom bailouts to keep it afloat.

Here's how to check the load shedding schedule.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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