Ricochet News

Load shedding possibility high this weekend

Aug 3, 2018
Load shedding possibility high this weekend

The probability of load shedding is high this weekend, as recovery of the power system is set to take approximately 30 days, Eskom said on Friday.

“The power system remains constrained with a risk of loads shedding today. The load shedding risk will increase over the weekend as we restore power plants and build up reserves for the coming week,” said the power utility.

Eskom this week engaged its three unions, namely Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), on wage negotiations under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

In its statement on Friday, Eskom said the unions have committed to assisting with normalising the operations.

“They have dispatched a team to various sites and most sites are returning to normality. Employees are encouraged to report back to work. The parties will formally sign the agreement on 8 August 2018, after engaging their members, as discussed during the mediation process at the CCMA.”

In addition, the power utility’s prognosis is that the power system will take up to approximately 30 days to recover from the effects of the recent industrial action which interrupted continuous processes at the power stations.

During the 30-day recovery period, the risk of load shedding remains high.

Recovery teams will focus on stabilising the power system and to return our generation plant as quick as possible. Operational processes now have to be cleared out and re-started which would take additional time. These include:

  • Coal and diesel management,
  • Power plant restart and maintenance, and
  • Environmental compliance and ash management.

An improvement in generation and operational performance can only increase and be achieved with the return of employees.

“Meanwhile, we continue to encourage residents and businesses to please use electricity sparingly to ease the demand of electricity. Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand,” said Eskom.

It urged customers to keep checking their load shedding schedules on the Eskom website loadshedding.eskom.co.za and their local municipality’s website, and plan on the assumption that load shedding will take place.

Eskom customers can also contact the customer contact centre on 0860 037 566. - SAnews.gov.za