South Africans can breathe a sigh of relief as Eskom has announced that load-shedding will be halted at 20:00 on Friday, 29 October 2021.
No load-shedding… for now
Load-shedding was initially scheduled to be suspended on Saturday morning at 05:00, but now Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter says units that had problems during the week at some the utility’s power stations had come back to service. De Ruyter held an Eskom briefing along with the utility‘s chief operations officer Jan Oberholzer.
Eskom had downgraded the rolling blackouts on Thursday evening, implementing stage 3 until the next morning, after which stage 2 kicked in. The embattled power utility has been struggling to keep the lights on for more than three weeks, mostly citing a shortage in generation capacity.
“Over the past 24 hours a unit each at the Koeberg, Medupi, Kriel, Duvha, Kusile and Tutuka power stations returned to service, helping to ease the current capacity constraints. Unfortunately, during this time, a unit each at Majuba and Arnot power stations tripped while a single unit at Matla was forced to shut down,” spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha 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.