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Eskom management set for urgent meeting after power cuts implemented again

The power utility announced on Thursday night that stage two power cuts would be implemented from 10pm on Thursday until 5am on Friday morning.

(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 management is going into an urgent meeting to assess whether the utility will have to implement more load shedding going into the weekend.

The power utility announced on Thursday night that stage two power cuts would be implemented from 10pm on Thursday until 5am on Friday morning.

Eskom cited the loss of three generating units and dipping into its reserves to meet daytime demand as the reasons for the decision.

The utility's Dikatso Mothae said that on Thursday Eskom lost three generating units.

"That necessitated us to use our emergency reserves throughout the day. Then there were very critical low levels later on in the day. We looked at stage two to replenish them for at least some supply."

Here's how to check the load shedding schedule.

South Africans endured darkness last month when the power utility implemented load shedding for about a week due to capacity shortages.

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.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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