South Africans are in for some hours in the dark as Eskom has announced it will be implementing Stage 2 of load-shedding on Saturday evening, 23 October 2021 from 21:00 until Monday morning at 05:00.

This is the second time since July that the power utility has had to enforce rolling black-outs, citing the need to replenish its emergency reserves.

“This loadshedding has been caused by breakdowns, numerous trips at various power stations, as well as delays in returning units to service. This has required us to rely heavily on emergency generation reserves, which are now at very low levels,” said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantsantsha.

Mantshantsha adds that the load-shedding is necesarry to preserve the remaining emergency reserves and to replenish as much as possible before Monday.

Eskom attributes load-shedding to ‘breakdowns and trips’

More than a week ago Eskom suspended load-shedding, but warned South Africans it could be forced to implement the power cuts at the very last minute as there were still significant risks to its system.

At the time, Eskom had been using that week-long load-shedding period to conduct some repairs to generating units and to continue with the maintenance programme.

Mantshantsha says there have been multiple breakdowns and trips, including those at Tutuka, Kriel, Hendrina, Kusile, Arnot and Kendal power stations over the past week.

“While some of these units have already returned to service, this has required us to utilise extensive emergency generation reserves to supplement capacity during the week. These now need to be replenished in order to increase available capacity for the week ahead. Total breakdowns currently amount to 15 627MW while planned maintenance is 4 954MW of capacity”

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha

Eskom has apologised for having to implement Stage 2 load-shedding and further urged its customers to reduce electricity usage, in order to help the utility with the constraints.

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