Eskom has announced stage three load shedding that was implemented on Tuesday morning will continue on Wednesday. The stage two load shedding began on Sunday and reached to an alarming stage four on Monday.
While the cash-strapped power utility confirmed that several units have returned to service since Monday and technicians are continuously working on to restore more units to the national grid, it still says that the diesel and water emergency reserves are very low. However, Eskom has assured the people that it’s working towards eliminating load shedding by the end of the week.
Eskom Outage Could Damage SA’s Economy
During debate on the State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan acknowledged that Eskom is currently going through a major crisis, the extent of which could damage the economy.
“Eskom is currently facing massive problems of a structural, operational and financial nature,” Gordhan said.
He said more load-shedding can be expected in the coming weeks to allow Eskom to deal with maintenance problems at its power plants.
Power Outage Has Forced Eskom To Use Reserves
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Eskom’s CEO Phakamani Hadebe said that the breakdown of seven of its units in a single day could have been avoided and needs to be investigated. Hadebe said that the power utility is facing a lot of challenges at its old power stations and the newer powers stations are only producing half of what they should. He added that the recent outage has left the utility with no choice but to tap into its reserves.
Meanwhile, the call for an independent audit into the ailing power utility has been made to get Eskom back on track. It now remains to be seen if President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government will stick with its plans to unbundle Eskom into three entities to deal with generation, transmission, and distribution or search out for some new plans.