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Eskom Announces Temporary Suspension of Load Shedding This Weekend with Updated Schedule

Published by
WIlliam Dube

South Africa’s power utility company, Eskom, has announced its intention to briefly suspend load shedding this weekend, providing much-needed relief for residents. The company has shared an updated schedule for the upcoming days, indicating a reduction in load shedding stages and temporary suspensions where possible.

  1. Eskom announces a temporary suspension of load shedding this weekend, with an updated schedule featuring reduced stages and suspension periods.
  2. The power utility has seen improvements in energy availability and a reduction in plant breakdowns, contributing to the easing of load shedding.
  3. Despite the temporary relief, Eskom’s systems remain constrained and unpredictable, and South Africa has experienced 138 consecutive days of blackouts since October 2022.

The new schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, 17 March: Stage 2 load shedding will continue until 00h00.
  • Saturday, 18 March: Stage 2 load shedding from 00h00 to 05h00, followed by stage 1 from 05h00 to 16h00, and stage 2 again from 16h00 to 00h00.
  • Sunday, 19 March: Stage 2 load shedding from 00h00 to 05h00, suspension from 05h00 to 16h00, and stage 1 from 16h00 to 00h00.
  • Monday, 20 March: Stage 1 load shedding from 00h00 to 16h00, and stage 2 from 16h00 to 00h00.
  • Tuesday, 21 March: Stage 2 load shedding from 00h00 to 05h00, suspension from 05h00 to 16h00, and stage 2 from 16h00 to 00h00.

Currently, Eskom is experiencing 14,256 MW of generating capacity breakdowns, while 4,765 MW of generating capacity is undergoing planned maintenance. The lower demand expected over the weekend has allowed the company to reduce the required stages of load shedding and suspend operations where possible.

In the past 24 hours, a generating unit at Camden and two units at Hendrina power stations were taken offline for repairs. Despite these challenges, Eskom’s power stations have demonstrated slow but steady improvements over the past week. The company reduced load shedding to stage 3 on Wednesday after enduring higher stages for an extended period.

At the beginning of the week, load shedding alternated between stage 3 during the day and stage 4 in the evenings. On Thursday (16 March), Eskom reported that six of its coal-fired power stations achieved an energy availability factor of 70% this week, a milestone last reached in May 2022.

Eskom attributed the improvement to a reduction in plant breakdowns and the return to service of several units that experienced unplanned breakdowns. The power stations of Camden, Duvha, and Matla have shown a sustained upward trend, while Lethabo, Matimba, and Medupi have also exhibited positive performance.

Eskom’s board chairperson, Mpho Makwana, credited the improved performance to the company’s ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach and expressed their commitment to enhancing national energy availability.

However, Eskom’s fleet remains under pressure, and its systems are constrained and unpredictable. As has been the case many times in the past, the situation can change at short notice. South Africa has experienced near-constant load shedding since September 2022, with 138 consecutive days of blackouts since October 2022, including every day of 2023 so far.

WIlliam Dube

William Dube is a finance and economic news expert with over 10 years of experience in economic anaylsis, financial product assessment and market analysis. With a numerous certificates from prestigious universities including but not limited to Yale University and the University of Pennyslivenia. William specializes in providing insightful news developments in South Africa and commentary on investment strategies, risk management, and global economic trends. You can contact him on william@rateweb.co.za

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Published by
WIlliam Dube

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