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Brace Up! Expect More Blackouts, says Eskom

Eskom says it is working round the clock to return generation units to service. However, Eskom has urged South Africans to brace themselves for more rolling blackouts this week.

“The severely constrained generation system will most likely persist through the coming week,” Eskom said. “Eskom requests the public to help reduce electricity usage in order to lessen the impact of load shedding.”

It added that because of the cold weather, demand for electricity had also risen significantly.

“Today (Sunday) the teams successfully returned to service three generation units at the Arnot, Duvha and Kendal power stations.

“These have added a combined 1565MW capacity to the generation system, adding to yesterday’s return to service of generation units at the Tutuka, Matimba and Arnot power stations. The return of a generation unit each at Tutuka, Kriel and Hendrina power stations has been delayed, contributing to the supply constraints,” it said.

Last week, Eskom announced that after a tripped unit at Medupi power station was restored to operation, one unit at Tutuka power station was yet to be restored as another unit at the same station went down. A third generation unit also tripped at Kendal power station.

The City said it was able to protect its customers from stage one of load-shedding due to the deployment of its Steenbras hydroelectric power station in the off-peak times and will fire-up its gas turbines to assist where at all possible to mitigate load-shedding.

Mayco member for energy and climate change Phindile Maxiti said: “The massive maintenance work on the City’s Steenbras hydroelectric power scheme has been completed successfully, in time for the increased winter energy demand.

“Three of the four generation units have been returned to service.”

Mayco member for community service and health Zahid Badroodien said: “The City’s health department has experienced load shedding over the last few years with interruption of services dependant on the stage.

“Many of the (affected) clinics are situated in vulnerable communities, and these interruptions often led to longer waiting times and services being interrupted.

“The health department developed plans for the different stages of load shedding to minimise the impact on health services to the vulnerable communities, and the City of Cape Town has spent a significant proportion of the capital budget on generators at the larger clinics to ensure health services continue uninterrupted.

“The City is currently investigating alternate energy sources which would make the clinics resilient long-term.

“At this stage the City’s health services remain uninterrupted for both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 services.”

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