Eskom announced that load shedding would come to an end on Thursday morning, 14 October, as scheduled, but warned that it could return at short notice because its generation units and capacity is still in a precarious position.


Eskom implemented Stage 2 load shedding six days ago. During that time, the power utility claims to have repaired generating units and continue its planned maintenance.

“While Eskom is currently able to suspend load shedding, there are still significant risks to some generating units, which would force Eskom to implement load shedding at short notice should we lose any further generation capacity,” said the parastatal in a statement on Thursday.

Since Friday, 8 October, some generation units have returned to service, which reduced the pressure on the electricity system but the utility has also suffered further breakdowns during the same period. “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.”

As of Wednesday, 13 October, the breakdowns suffered by Eskom means that 14 868MW of capacity is unavailable, while planned maintenance accounts for 5277MW of capacity.

In addition to the utility’s planned maintenance programme, the Hydro Cahora Bassa – the largest hydroelectric power plant in southern Africa – began its planned annual maintenance outage on Saturday, 9 October, which means that a further 650MW of capacity is unavailable. The system is expected to return to full capacity by Friday, 15 October.

Other generation units, including Kriel, Majuba, Hendrina, Lethabo and Tutuka power stations, are expected to return to service over the next few days and alleviate some of the pressure on the electricity system.

“Eskom would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the implementation of load shedding and thank the public for their understanding of the situation.

“The teams are doing everything possible to manage the risks. Eskom urges the public to continue using electricity sparingly in order to minimise the possibility of further load shedding,” said the power supplier.

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