South Africans are looking at another round of load-shedding on Wednesday, as struggling utility provider Eskom will implement Stage 3 restrictions from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. – a level that allows for 3000 MW of the national power load to be reduced, cutting it off to customers in two- or four-hour blocks.
“Our maintenance teams continue to work hard and through the night to bring units back online,” the company said. Four of seven generating units that failed were restored by Tuesday. Yet the power system remains constrained, according to Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe. South Africans who are experiencing nationwide rolling blackouts are asked to continue to limit their electricity use.
Eskom expects reserves of water and diesel supplies needed to run power facilities to remain low, but Wednesday’s operations may be further complicated by a general strike of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).
The latest round of emergency loadshedding began on Sunday at Stage 2, followed by Monday’s Stage 4 emergency and Stage 3 status on Tuesday. The widespread power cuts have caused outcry from the public to the president, with South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa saying he was shocked by the deep emergency cuts on Monday and vowing to ensure the state-owned utility will be “fixed.”
Eskom has ordered an immediate and urgent review to establish realistic project timelines and evaluate faults, as well as address “the ever-escalating costs and what can be done to increase output.”