Power utility Eskom has warned that load shedding could be implemented at short notice should any further breakdowns occur.
In a notice on Tuesday morning (2 November), Eskom requested that the public reduce electricity usage as the power system is severely constrained.
Eskom had previously indicated that load shedding would not be implemented this week so that vote counting for the local government elections would not be compromised.
“While no load shedding has been implemented at this stage, Eskom requests the public to reduce the usage of electricity as the power system is severely constrained. Load shedding may be required at short notice should any further generation breakdowns occur, or should some of the generating units not return to service as expected.”
Loadshedding may be implemented at short notice should any further
breakdowns occur; Eskom requests the public to reduce the usage of electricity as the power system is severely constrained pic.twitter.com/ZEcDw1ZFOx
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) November 2, 2021
Over the past 24 hours, Eskom said that it returned a generation unit each at Camden, Kendal and Medupi power stations. Over the same period, two power generation units, one at Arnot and another at Hendrina, tripped – while a unit at Arnot and Lethabo was forced to shut down.
Total breakdowns currently amount to 15,852MW, while planned maintenance is 4,036MW of capacity.
South Africa moved to stage 4 load shedding last week after the latest round of breakdowns, with professional services firm PwC estimating that the outages will significantly impact the country’s economy and lead directly to 350,000 job losses.
Energy Thought Leader CEO Mike Rossouw has described Eskom’s predicament as dire, which has pushed South Africa beyond the tipping point.
“Eskom is near a total collapse,” Rossouw said during a recent interview on radio station 702.
Rossouw is the former chair of the Energy Intensive Users Group and was brought on as an advisor at Eskom in 2014, answering directly to former CEO Collin Matjila.
“I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, I see a big train coming down the tunnel at us,” Rossouw said. “We’re going to see a lot more load-shedding and for much longer.”