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Eskom's Oberholzer warns 3 more units at risk of malfunction

Eskom said it had lost 6 power units since Saturday due to boiler tube leaks, with COO Jan Oberholzer saying they were now tapping into emergency resources.

Lethabo power station. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - While Eskom said it was caught off guard by the unexpected trip of generating units, questions were again being asked about a lack of proper planning and foresight to avoid disasters.

South Africans were unpleasantly surprised on Wednesday when the utility announced that stage 2 load shedding would be effected from 9am this morning until 11pm.

Eskom said it had lost 6 power units since Saturday due to boiler tube leaks.

COO Jan Oberholzer said they were now tapping into emergency resources.

He said the main conveyor feed transporting coal from Grootvlei mine to the Medupi power station also broke down at the weekend.

"Currently we have to transport the coal and fill the bunkers manually so it's reduced the capacity at Medupi to a third. Since Saturday and Sunday we had to use our emergency [reserves], which is diesel as well as water, unfortunately, to protect the integrity of our network and we had to implement load shedding."

Oberholzer said that three more units were at risk of malfunctioning.

Eskom warned that the rolling blackouts could last for at least a week.

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