Eskom load shedding continues as rand struggles to gain ground

Eskom says it will continue to implement load shedding on Tuesday, 19 March for a seventh straight day, to prevent a total collapse of the electricity grid amid a shortage of capacity.

The power utility said that stage 2 load-shedding would be implemented until 09:00, after which the schedule will move to stage 4.

“Stage 2 load-shedding will continue today, 19 March until 09:00 this morning whereafter we will move to stage 4 load-shedding,” Eskom said on social media

“This is due to a shortage of capacity. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience.”

Eskom suffered outages last week that were then compounded by a loss of power imports from neighboring Mozambique as a result of a cyclone. The staggered power cuts, aimed at reducing demand pressure on the grid, are crippling businesses and leave roads gridlocked in cities throughout Africa’s most-industrialized economy, Bloomberg reported.

The utility is seen as one of the biggest risks to the country’s economy, burdened by operational and financial woes stemming from years of mismanagement and massive cost overruns on two new coal-fired power stations that should have been completed in 2015.


Despite a softer dollar, the rand is struggling to gain ground against major currencies as ongoing load shedding continues to place the currency under pressure, said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

Global markets are gearing up for yet another round of dovish Fed comments tomorrow, as the US central bank is expected to keep rates on hold, Botes said.

“The rand has remained largely flat, trading in a tight range between R14.38 and R14.50, where it is expected to remain,” she said.

The local unit traded at the following levels against the major currencies:

  • Dollar/Rand: R14.44  (-0.04%)
  • Pound/Rand R19.16  (0.09%)
  • Euro/Rand: R16.38  (0.04%)

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Eskom load shedding continues as rand struggles to gain ground