Yesterday South Africans were warned that the risk of power cuts was high again after two more of Eskom’s generators failed.
"Two generators failed and this is part of a number of other challenges within the systems, which have exacerbated the situation," Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said.
Engineers were trying to determine why the generators broke down and how long it would take to fix them.
Eskom said the power grid was constrained but stable on Monday even as usage spiked as people returned to work after the holidays. The parastatal said at the time in its ‘weather report-like’ statement that the risk of loadshedding was low to medium. This as daily demand rose 5,000MW to 30,000MW.
Things are looking bleak through next week as reserve margins are expected to be "very tight," according to spokesperson Andrew Etzinger.
Frustrations are set to rise as news of another delay at the Medupi power station filters through. Eskom assured the press in June last year that the first unit would go online in December, but this was not possible as, according to the utility, although building is completed, the system needs to be cleaned and it is impossible to estimate how long this will take.
“We’re busy with cleaning steam pipes. It isn’t easy to predict how long it will take,” says Ertzinger. He expects it to take a few weeks, but then goes on to say, “We’re still on track for the commercialisation of the unit in the first half of 2015.”
By Jenni McCann