South Africans were mostly privileged enough not to experience planned blackouts over the weekend leading up to municipal and local elections on 1 November 2021. That bliss was short-lived, as Eskom, the state-owned power utility, issued a statement detailing that the grid is under pressure and load shedding could occur at any point this week.
“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,” the utility tweeted on 2 November.
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
The public requests Eskom increase generation capacity
The statement doesn’t mention any excuses we haven’t heard before. “Over the past 24 hours Eskom teams returned a generation unit each at Camden, Kendal and Medupi power stations. Over the same period two generation units; one at Arnot and another at Hendrina tripped while a unit each at Arnot and Lethabo were forced to shut down,” the statement reads.
Its total capacity lost due to breakdowns is at a whopping 15,852MW at the moment, while planned maintenance is withholding 4,036MW from South Africans.
It’s clear that the utility is failing South Africans more each year. In 2019, the utility shed a total of 533 hours. In 2020, it shed a total of 846 hours — almost 300 more than the previous year
Eskom is urging the public to use electricity sparingly, in the summer, while the workforce attempts to keep the economy going. We’ll do our best, guys.