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Stage 1 load shedding for Friday, no weekend power cuts

Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza said that the power utility would implement stage one load shedding on Friday and did not foresee the need for further power cuts thereafter.

(From left to right) Eskom board chair and acting CEO Jabu Mabuza, Jan Oberholzer, Segomoco Scheppers, Bheki Nxumalo and Bernard Magoro at a briefing on the latest round of power cuts on 17 October 2019. Picture: Bonga Dlulane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza said that the power utility would implement stage one load shedding on Friday and did not foresee the need for further power cuts thereafter.

Mabuza was briefing the media on Thursday night on the state of the power utility after it implemented load shedding on Wednesday due to faulty generating units.

- How to check your load shedding schedule

Friday's load shedding will be implemented from 9am and will end at 11pm.

The acting CEO apologised for the power cuts and for not giving South Africans better warning. Mabuza said that Eskom had no choice but to implement the rolling blackouts even though they did not foresee it happening. He said that the cuts were needed to avoid a collapse of the power grid.

"Unfortunately, this is what has now materialised in the last few days. Against high levels of consumption, we experienced high levels of unplanned breakdowns that exceeded the 10,500-megawatt limit and resulted in the excessive utilisation of our emergency water and diesel reserves," Mabuza explained.

Mabuza further added that Eskom had activated the emergency centre and contingency plans were in place to repair the damage that would lead to the recovery of the system.

The board chairperson said that Eskom had managed to repair some of the damage done to five of their boilers that led to the implementation of load shedding.

Mabuza said that after Friday they would be able to keep the lights on - for now.

One thing that Mabuza said he could not guarantee was that in the future there would not be any more load shedding.

Additional reporting by Bonga Dlulane.

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