Eskom reintroduces stage two load-shedding after Medupi unit three breaks down

Eskom announced it would implement rotational electricity blackouts for the first time in about a month on Monday, citing multiple failures at its generation units.

The state electricity utility had initially said load-shedding would begin from 9pm on Monday to 5am Tuesday and be repeated from 9pm on Tuesday to 5am the next day. It  shortly after brought the start forward to 5pm on Monday — saying the rolling power cuts would now be implemented continuously until early onWednesday morning — after unit 3 at its Medupi power station in Limpopo also broke down.

“This load-shedding is required for Eskom to replenish the emergency generation reserves, which have been utilised significantly since the past weekend,” the power utility said in a statement. 

Eskom said breakdowns at multiple power stations — including Matla, Kendal, Matimba, Kusile, Grootvlei, Arnot and Hendrina — had forced the state-owned utility to rely “heavily” on its emergency generation reserves “to keep the lights on”. 

In addition to this, units had tripped during the weekend, reducing the available generation capacity by 14 508MW, of which 6 307MW included planned maintenance.

“While we expect some generation units to return to service over the next 24 hours, Eskom appeals to all South Africans to help us limit the impact of load shedding by reducing the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items,” Eskom said.

Eskom’s R392-billion debt has hampered its ability to maintain some of its ageing coal-fired power stations and fed into 14 years of load-shedding in the country, affecting the country’s growth rates.

Last month, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said Eskom’s debt problem may require some “fiscal intervention”, but only if the entity met certain conditions.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Eunice Stoltz
Eunice Stoltz is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Harbour views at 9th Avenue Waterside

The award-winning eatery, which offers fine wines and food, is on stilts at Durban’s harbour

Zimbabwe hospital workers plot stillbirth burials

The policy is to cremate deceased infants but Bulawayo Hospital’s incinerators are not working

Salman Rushdie on ventilator, likely to lose an eye after...

The British author of "The Satanic Verses" had to be airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery following the attack

Covid-19 has led to an increase in depression, mental illness...

There has been an unprecedented structural shift in disease patterns, which has highlighted unequal access to healthcare

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…