Load shedding risk on Friday: Eskom

Power utility Eskom again warned of potential load shedding on Friday (10 July), urging the public to continue reducing electricity usage following breakdowns at a number of generation units.

It follows a similar warning issued by the state firm on Thursday, although load shedding was averted.

“The possibility that Eskom may be forced to implement load shedding has increased as the power system is severely constrained,” it said in a statement.

Five generation units were taken off the grid, significantly raising the possible need for load shedding.

Eskom said that should the need arise, load shedding could be implemented to protect the integrity of the system.

“If this is the case, there is a risk of load shedding between 16h00 and 22h00,” it said.

The group said that two units at the Arnot station, as well as a unit each at Kendal, Tutuka and Majuba were taken off the grid, removing more than 2,600MW of capacity.

It said that the delayed return to service of a generation unit at the Duvha power station, has also added significant pressure to the system.

“Any additional breakdowns will compromise Eskom’s ability to supply the country,” it warned.

This contained supply situation may persists throughout the weekend,” it said, a time when the country is expected to experience a third cold front of the Winter to date.

The power utility has already begun to restrict power supply to those municipalities who have not made payment – ‘breaching its electricity supply agreement with Eskom’.

Moreover, the group has also implemented a ‘load reduction’ strategy to avoid network overloading in high-density areas prone to illegal connections, meter bypasses and vandalism of electricity infrastructure.

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Load shedding risk on Friday: Eskom