- The current cycle of load shedding will end on Thursday, Eskom has confirmed in a statement
- However, the power utility warned that there are possibilities of further cuts in the near future
- Eskom said it has suffered further breakdowns while teams were replenishing emergency generation units
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Eskom has confirmed that load shedding will roll to an end on Thursday morning following nearly six days of intermittent power cuts across South Africa.
The power utility said it managed to complete maintenance requirements on its generation reserves, ensuring that load shedding will be suspended for the foreseeable future.
However, Eskom warned households that the possibility of load shedding in the foreseeable future remains likely.
"We have used the past six days of load shedding to conduct some repairs to generating units and to continue with the maintenance programme," a statement read.
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"Even though we were able to replenish emergency generation reserves, we have to continue relying on these to support power system over this period.
"While Eskom is able to suspend load shedding at this stage, there are still significant risks to some generating units, which would force the implementation of power cuts at short notice."
The utility once again urged the public to continue using electricity sparingly to minimise the possibility of further power outages.
"We have, unfortunately, suffered further breakdowns since Friday after Eskom teams managed to return some generation units to service," the utility added.
"Although we have recovered some emergency generation reserve capacity to support the system, the recovery in generation capacity has not been sufficient to alleviate the system constraints."
Returning units are expected at Eskom's Kriel, Majuba, Hendrina, Lethabo and Tutuka power stations, which will further ease pressure on the system.
South Africans had mixed reactions to the latest announcement, although the majority of people expressed displeasure.
Public outraged by latest announcement
Briefly News compiled some of the reactions below.
"Why do these letters always sound so reprimanding? As if it's our fault the power stations aren't being maintained and coal reserves are low. Even if our entire country stopped using electricity for a week we'd be at high risk because of poor management."
"So in Eskom speak, 'We are definitely going to be load shedding again, don't get comfortable or get your hopes up. We are going to be inconveniencing you again and again repeatedly as much as we can to compensate for our incompetence. Thanks guys'."
"So after 6 days of maintenance and “fixing” - the current breakdowns are literally the same as it was when we had to go into stage 2 (actually about 200MW worse). How does this Eskom math work?"
We can expect load shedding for the next 5 years, says expert
In related news, Briefly News reported that South Africans have been reminded that they might have to get used to load shedding for years to come.
Energy expert Ted Blom told EWN that Eskom's current CEO Andre de Ruyter is to blame for the current state of the power utility.
Blom said that De Ruyter had made the commitment to put an end to loadshedding by refurbishing power stations but has failed to deliver.
Instead, De Ruyter went back on his word earlier this year by saying that money will not be spent on refurbishments but would rather use that money to invest in renewable energy.