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Eskom could implement load shedding throughout the weekend

The power utility has ramped up load shedding to stage four and is looking to shave 4,000 megawatts from the grid.

FILE: Eskom said on 9 January 2020 that its emergency reserves were insufficient to meet the demand for electricity during the day. Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom said the continuous rain had wet its coal reserves at a number of power stations, leading to problems in generating capacity.

The power utility has ramped up load shedding to stage four and is looking to shave 4,000 megawatts from the grid.
The rolling power cuts are expected to last until 6am on Saturday.

“If the wet weather persists, we are likely to implement load shedding throughout the weekend,” a statement reads.

Spokesperson Dikatso Motau explained: “Some units are lost from the system. It’s quite vulnerable and we are basically in a worse situation currently.”

Eskom said it would tap into its diesel reserves as it struggled to keep the lights on.

Meanwhile, energy expert Chris Yelland said load shedding was a necessary inconvenience.

“No matter how negative load shedding is, it is an effort to avoid further blackouts on the system. In other words, if you simply carry on operating the power system in a state where demand exceeds supply, eventually things start tripping out and it will ultimately result in a full blackout.”

• How to check your load shedding schedule

HOSPITALS IMPACTED

The Gauteng Health Department said hospitals were impacted by load shedding.

The department's Kwara Kekana said they needed a reliable power source at hospitals.

“Our facilities are impacted because the power is not reliable. Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has about 17 generators. The biggest generator we have can run for about 10 days.”