UPDATE: Eskom has announced Stage 4 load shedding will commence from 14:00 on 5 November and end at 5:00am on 6 November.
Well, that didn’t last long. Eskom, the state-owned power utility has announced that it’s implementing Stage 2 load shedding today, Friday 5 November 2021 from 11:00 am.
“Regretfully, Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented starting at 11:00. A unit at Lethabo and Majuba were delayed in returning to service. A unit at Tutuka tripped,” the utility announced via a tweet.
It isn’t clear from the Twitter thread (it’s adapting its communication methods, clearly), how much generation capacity was lost due to the failure to come online. Eskom’s been continuously busy with maintenance, which has affected the grid in recent months. Just last week a total of 4,000MW was lost due to maintenance.
“Three Kendal units were taken off and it is anticipated that the fourth and remaining unit will also be shut down. The conveyor belts supplying these units are currently not running due to a power fault. No coal is reaching the station at this point,” a tweet details.
Regretfully, Stage 2 loadshedding will be implemented starting at 11:00. A unit at Lethabo and Majuba were delayed in returning to service. A unit at Tutuka tripped
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) November 5, 2021
This loss in capacity is likely over and above other breakdowns and lack of maintenance. Don’t expect things to get better anytime soon, too. “We, unfortunately, do expect the load shedding stage to escalate into the weekend but this can only be confirmed once we have a better understanding of these problems and when it is likely to be resolved.”
Our toxic relationship with Eskom
It’s clear that the utility is failing South Africans more each year. Since 2019, the hourly count of load shedding has grown significantly every year.
As always, the utility urges the public to use less electricity, because it can’t manage. If that doesn’t work, however, it might be time to research implementing solar power or other off-grid alternatives.