Thu, 23 Jan 2020

Eskom announced on Tuesday evening that rotational load shedding had been downgraded from stage 3 to stage 2 at 9pm. The power utility did not immediately provide further information or say how long the stage 2 power cuts were expected to last.

Stage 2 allows for up to 2 000MW to be cut from the national grid.

South Africans had to contend with stage 4 load shedding for most of the day on Tuesday. Stage 4 was lowered to stage 3 at 8pm, and stage 3 was downgraded to stage 2 at 9pm.

Eskom has warned that cuts are likely to continue for the rest of the week as it battles severe capacity constraints caused by unplanned outages and the results of flooding. On Monday it announced that heavy rains and floods at three power stations caused its already-reduced generation capacity to plunge further.

The power utility's acting CEO and interim executive chairperson Jabu Mabuza said on Monday evening that a key reason for the implementation of stage 6 load shedding on Monday evening was the failure of a power supply line feeding electricity to incline conveyors feeding coal to silos at Medupi power station

On Tuesday morning, in a power update, Eskom said that "while progress has been made with coal handling at Medupi Power Station, breakdowns are at 15 200MW as at 05:43 [on Tuesday]".

This amounts to more than a third of the power utility's nominal total generating capacity.

"The incessant rains continue to impact coal handling and operations at our power stations," said Eskom in an earlier update on Tuesday

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President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a statement on Monday, said that public anger over the 'devastating' power cuts was understandable, while Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan apologised on eNCA. The president has since cut short an official visit to Egypt to return to South Africa.

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