Eskom has announced that it has moved from Stage 1 load shedding, to Stage 2 in some areas.
“We are currently load shedding in stage 2 in some areas due to high demand or urgent maintenance being performed at certain power stations,” the group warned.
The power utility said earlier on Monday that it would implement Stage 1 load shedding from 11 am until 10pm.
Eskom said it has been forced into a fresh round of load shedding following ‘unforeseen technical problems’ at its power stations.
“Due to unforeseen technical problems at our power stations, the power system is severely constrained. Eskom will load shed from 11:00,” the power utility said in a statement on Monday (26 January).
“Due to the electricity demand that has exceeded the supply; Eskom implemented load shedding Stage 1 from 11h00 until 22h00 tonight,” it said on its Twitter account.
Eskom last implemented stage one load shedding on January 9, due to high electricity demand and the unavailability of some of its generating units.
Stage one load shedding allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be shed, stage two for up to 2000MW, and stage three for up to 4000MW.
Group CEO Tshediso Matona recently said that the country’s power supply would remain severely constrained in the coming months while Eskom dealt with its maintenance backlog.
At a meeting held on 13 January, Matona addressed business on the growing power crisis in the country.
Matona told stakeholders that one unexpected event at any of its power stations could push the country to the total failure of the national electricity system that may take weeks to resolve.
However, Eskom spokesman, Andrew Etzinger, told the Sunday Times that this is not what the CEO meant, saying that Matona’s comments were “misinterpreted” due to his incorrect use of grammar.
Despite this backtracking, Eskom engineers say that a total loss of control of the grid is a possibility – albeit an unlikely one – and there are measures in place for such an eventuality.
Eskom’s load shedding schedule can be found here.