On Tuesday afternoon, Eskom desperately pleaded that South Africans would quickly consume less power because its power grid was under “tremendous” pressure after several units at its major coal-fired power stations failed.
The beleaguered power giant says a total of four generating units, at the Kendal, Majuba and Lethabo power stations in Mpumalanga, broke unexpectedly on Tuesday. It comes as he waits for two other units at Duvha and Tutuka to get back online.
However, the repair of these units has been delayed.
Eskom did, however, have 31,000 megawatts (MW) of power available Tuesday evening despite the latest faults at its power stations, he said.
They reckon if power consumption is scaled, they will be able to meet the power demand. If not, however, load shedding will have to be applied for the first time in more than three months since March.
This comes shortly after Eskom has indicated over the weekend that it has enough power for the winter and that there will be only three days of load shedding in phase 1 of the load shedding schedule by the end of July. (Phase 1 means 1,000 MW of power must be removed from the network.) This is after he was able to make significant repairs during the shutdown.
The current power shortage could continue until the weekend, Eskom warns.
This means that the power grid will be under heavy pressure for the next few days and that load shedding will remain a possibility.