Loadshedding to “ease into the weekend”

1 Dec 2023 | SANews

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says he expects the intensity of loadshedding to decrease going into the weekend.

The Minister was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the handover of the first consignment of energy equipment donated by the People’s Republic of China.

“We have been able to return the units much earlier; Kusile Unit 2 – in the midst of Stage 6 has come back to give us an additional 800MW. So once we stabilise the emergency reserves, I’m more than confident that going into the weekend, you’ll start seeing that the intensity of load shedding is going to go down,” he said.

Turning to the equipment donated by the Chinese government, the Minister said the equipment will help to “preserve life” as they will serve health facilities and schools, among others.

The consignment includes at least 450 gasoline generators which are expected to be distributed to public facilities such as clinics, schools and courts to use as backup energy sources.

“The Chinese were very enthusiastic and demonstrated levels of solidarity and comradery…that we have enjoyed over a period of time to say that as you resolve the bigger question of ending loadshedding, you need some alternative supply or some solution to ensure that there is uninterrupted supply,” he said.

Eskom has announced on social media platform X that Stage 2 and 3 loadshedding will be implemented from 10am on Friday until Sunday.

Earlier this week, the power utility implemented Stage 6 loadshedding due to insufficient generating capacity and weakened emergency reserves which caused strain on available generation capacity.

“Due to the sustained improvement of the generation capacity with unplanned outages at 13 542MW, loadshedding will be reduced to Stage 2 from 10am today until 4pm. Thereafter, Stage 3 loadshedding will be implemented from 4pm until 5am on Sunday when loadshedding will be suspended from 5am until 4pm.

“On Sunday, Stage 3 loadshedding will resume from 4pm until 5am on Monday. Eskom will communicate the update on the week ahead on Sunday afternoon,” the power utility said.

On Thursday, Eskom had announced that generation capacity had come back on line to boost the power grid.

“[Some] 800MW were returned to service and approximately 3700MW of generating capacity is anticipated to return to service by Sunday evening. Eskom teams are working tirelessly to ensure that this additional generating units are returned to service as soon as possible.

“We appeal to the members of the public to use electricity sparingly and efficiently from 5pm to 9pm to reduce the high demand.

“We would also like to thank those who do heed the call of switching off geysers and pool pumps from 5pm to 9pm, as this lowers demand and helps in alleviating the pressure on the power system and contributes to lower stages of loadshedding,” Eskom said.

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