President Cyril Ramaphosa was “misled” when he said that there would be no more load shedding between the end of December and start of January, says deputy president David Mabuza.
In an interview with eNCA, Mabuza said that he warned the president about potential maintenance issues at Eskom’s power plants and the possibility that they would lead to widespread power cuts.
“You can’t say there won’t be any load shedding if there is no effective maintenance of the power generating plants. This is the problem that is facing Eskom. We must rebuild old power stations (and) get the new ones running at full capacity,” he said.
Ramaphosa said in December that “from the 17th of December right through to the 13th of January we should not be in a position to have any form of load shedding”.
However, load shedding returned only four days into the New Year and made another unwelcome return on 8 January.
These outages were due to an unanticipated conveyor belt failure at Medupi power station, but stage 2 load shedding has continued to hit the country as Eskom battles with system issues.
Longer load shedding
On Thursday (8 January), Eskom said that South African will have extended load shedding following a further loss of capacity on its grid overnight.
The power utility announced that stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 08h00 on Thursday, and will continue overnight until 06h00 on Friday.
This follows two nights in a row where load shedding was implemented in the early morning hours, but not during the day.
According to Eskom, the reason for the extended load shedding hours is because it lost further generating units at it power stations, resulting in unplanned outages of 14,000MW of capacity.
Further, its reserves are not enough to keep the lights on consistently throughout the day.