Cape Town – Eskom’s outgoing chief executive officer (CEO) André de Ruyter has reportedly said that stage 6 load shedding will continue across the country, as the power utility works around the clock to repair brokedown generation units.
Over the weekend, the power utility announced its decision to move load shedding from stage 4 to stage 6 until further notice due to the breakdown of eight generation units.
Eskom also revealed that further stages of load shedding could be implemented at short notice, should coal supply constraints not be resolved.
However, De Ruyter said the power utility was doing everything possible to ensure that load shedding did not escalate beyond stage 6 load shedding, reports said.
Speaking during a virtual media briefing on the parastatal’s system challenges, De Ruyter said by Thursday Eskom would be able to phase down load shedding to stage 4, reported The Citizen.
“We will have load shedding stage 6 prevailing until Wednesday evening peak. And by Thursday, we will then be able to start phasing that down to load shedding stage 4 with load shedding stage 3 being reached by the weekend,” he said.
Outgoing Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter says the risk of a total grid collapse is very low. Eskom has implemented Stage 6 blackouts after units at various power stations tripped. #eNCA #DStv403. pic.twitter.com/4Z1SVDIp8T
— eNCA (@eNCA) February 20, 2023
He said Eskom was planning to return back to service at least 3 000 MW on Monday from Lethabo power station.
“Following that, we are looking at returning by the end of today [Monday] about 3 000MW of capacity followed by a further 2 000MW each for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. That will significantly alleviate the current constraint that we face in terms of generation capacity,” the report quoted De Ruyter as saying.
He assured South Africans that Eskom did not anticipate escalating load shedding beyond stage 6 and that contingency plans were in place should more challenges be encountered, reported EWN.
“I can give the country the assurance that we’re doing everything in our power to ensure that we do not end up in a situation where we go beyond that [stage 6]. But, of course, the system has an inherent lack of reliability and that gives us the need to plan for these unforeseen events,” said the utility’s CEO Andre de Ruyter.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe