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Sunday, 12 November 2023 23:38

Eskom ramps up power cuts as it releases schedule for the week ahead.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

State owned power utility Eskom says that load shedding will vary between Stages 1, 2 and 3 for the week ahead.

Stage 1 load shedding will be implemented from 16:00 today until 05:00 on Monday. Thereafter, load shedding will vary between Stages 1, 2 and 3 for the remainder of the week

Due to the shortage of generation capacity, Stage 1 load shedding will be implemented from 16:00 today until 05:00 on Monday, said Eskom.

Thereafter, Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 05:00 until 16:00, followed by Stage 3 load shedding until 05:00 on Tuesday, it added.

Eskom noted it will closely monitor the power system and communicate any changes to load shedding should it be required.

It added that unplanned outages are currently at 17 270MW of generating capacity, including the delayed return to service of Koeberg Unit 1, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 5 265MW.

"Approximately 5,300MW of generating capacity is anticipated to return to service this coming week. Eskom teams are working tirelessly to ensure that these additional generating units are returned to service as soon as possible," Eskom said.

The utility's load forecast for the evening peak demand is 25 529MW. Eskom said it would like to thank those who do heed the call to use electricity sparingly and efficiently, including switching off geysers and pool pumps from 17:00 to 21:00, as this lowers demand and helps in alleviating the pressure on the power system and contributes to lower stages of load shedding.

Meanwhile Truth and Energy civil nuclear engineer Hugo Kruger said Eskom is no longer a monopoly as the private sector is slowly taking over electricity generation in the country.

Kruger's comments come in light of Eskom reporting its financial results for the year through March 2023. 

The power utility confirmed in its results presentation earlier this week that its net loss after tax increased to R23.9 billion – a significant jump from the R11.9 billion loss reported in 2022.

Eskom interim CEO Calib Cassim said the 2023 financial results reflect the company's challenging operational performance.

He revealed that municipal debt to Eskom increased from R44.8 billion to R58.5 billion over the last year.

Cassim also revealed that the utility’s energy availability factor worsened from 62.02% to 56.03% in 2023 due to generation supply constraints and shortfall from the IPP programmes.

Faced with intense power cuts with seemingly no end in sight, South African households and businesses are increasingly turning to alternative energy sources.