Eskom: Festive Season Blackouts Back On the Table After Generators fail

DECEMBER 16, 2014

Eskom on Tuesday said that there is now a high risk of load shedding this week after four power generators stopped working. Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe said technicians were trying to establish what caused the generators to stop working.

 “This morning we lost the use of four generating units which increases the risk of load shedding for today and possibly for the rest of the week. However, our technicians are still working on the four units, to determine what the cause was,” he said, adding that Eskom is working round the clock to fix them.

The utility has been battling with limited generating capacity, problems at its power stations and a shortage of diesel supplies.

Rolling blackouts a reality

Eskom Chief Executive Officer, Tshediso Matona, last week warned that rolling blackouts will be a reality for the next few months as the parastatal tries to stabilise the power system.

But on Monday, Eskom had promised South Africans “a load shedding free” festive season, with Phasiwe saying the risk for load shedding remains low.

“Load shedding is low because we’re gradually bringing back the grid into service.”

Bigger problem

Eskom’s inability to meet demand in December, when electricity usage usually dips, underscores the precarious state of South Africa's power supply due to years of underfunding.

The utility, which supplies virtually all of South Africa's power, said last month the government’s promised R20 billion cash injection wouldn't be enough to ease funding constraints and help it avoid a credit downgrade.

As always, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will implement loadshedding in accordance with the schedule which is attached hereto.

Download full schedule HERE.