While South Africans had been bracing for stage 2 of load-shedding on Monday evening at 21:00, as announced by Eskom, the bad news is the rolling blackouts have now been scheduled for 18:00, three hours earlier than originally announced.
Load-shedding continues ‘as previously communicated’
Eskom has attributed the slight change to its load-shedding schedule to two units tripping at its power stations.
“Stage 2 load-shedding has to be implemented starting now at 6pm instead of at 9am as previously communicated. Unit 1 of Kusile and Matimba Unit 5 have just tripped, taking off 1,300MW of capacity, adding to the capacity constraints. The load-shedding will continue as previously communicated and an update will be issued should the need arise,” said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
On Sunday, the utility announced it would have to enforce another bout of the power cuts on Monday and Tuesday evenings between 21:00 and 05:00 in order to replenish emergency reserves.
“…due to the loss of Koeberg Unit 1 this morning, we anticipate the need to utilise emergency reserves extensively during the next few days to avoid loadshedding. In order to achieve this, Stage 2 loadshedding will be required during Monday and Tuesday nights in order to replenish the emergency reserves for the following day,” Eskom said at the time.
More than a week ago Eskom suspended load-shedding, but warned South Africans it could be forced to implement the power cuts at the very last minute as there were still significant risks to its system. At the time, Eskom had been using that week-long load-shedding period to conduct some repairs to generating units and to continue with the maintenance programme.