Power utility Eskom has confirmed that it will implement stage 2 load shedding from 9pm on Thursday night to 6am on Friday morning.
It said that the power cuts were due to system constraints and it having depleted its emergency reserves.
Eskom further explained that it had been using pumped storage schemes and open gas turbines “extensively over the last few days” to supplement power generating capacity and that it needed to replenish these overnight.
NEW YEAR, SAME OLD LOAD SHEDDING
Eskom implemented severe nationwide power cuts in several bursts last year and again sporadically during the first week of January despite low electricity demand as many businesses and factories were closed for the holidays.
Eskom officials had told President Cyril Ramaphosa at a meeting at the company’s headquarters in Johannesburg on 11 December that there would be no power cuts from mid-December until mid-January. But this was not the case. Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza resigned unexpectedly over the parastatal’s failure to avoid blackouts as promised. Malegapuru Makgoba was appointed as the Eskom board’s interim chairperson.
The power utility is also fighting a court battle against the National Energy Regulator to secure higher electricity tariffs.
If Eskom succeeds in its application, electricity prices will rise by 16% in April, instead of the 8.1% increase this year and the 5.22% increase next year that was initially approved by Nersa.