President Cyril Ramaphosa says while he is concerned about the return of load shedding, as announced by Eskom on Friday, South Africans should not lose hope because “there will be light at the end of this brief tunnel”.
Speaking to journalists on the campaign trail in Potchefstroom, North West, Ramaphosa said he was confident that utility’s management would deal with breakdowns at its power plants that have led to the latest round of blackouts being implemented.
“I wouldn’t call it a looming crisis. It is a concern and these are matters that the management of Eskom is looking at very seriously. And I believe in the management that they will handle this and make sure that the energy challenges that we are facing are brought under control.
“So, I think we will see a great deal of light at the end of this brief tunnel,” Ramaphosa said on Friday at the Tshepanang Day Care Centre.
Eskom on Friday announced that it had extended stage 2 load shedding until Thursday morning in order to continue replenishing its emergency generation reserves.
The power utility said it will be implementing stage 2 load shedding every day from Friday evening between 9pm and 5am. The cycle will continue again until next week on Thursday at 5am.
Eskom’s spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the overnight blackouts were also necessary to address other additional risks in the generation fleet.
“During this time Eskom will be working hard to return a number of generating units to service and we urge the public to continue using electricity sparingly. Total breakdowns amount to 14 760MW while planned maintenance is 5 277MW of capacity.
“Whilst still recovering four units at Tutuka, which had experienced conveyor belt failures, the fleet suffered a cluster of boiler tube leaks within a short period of time,” Mantshantsha said in a statement.
“Emergency reserves have been further depleted today due to breakdowns of a generating unit each at Kusile, Komati and Hendrina power stations. The return of a generating unit at Majuba power station today provided some relief, however, this was insufficient to curb the extensive use of emergency reserves.”
The power utility said it would communicate with the public should there be any significant changes to the power