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Cold weather has significantly increased demand for electricity

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As the demand for electricity peaks to its highest levels this year, Eskom has announced that Stage 1 load shedding will be implemented from 9am until 2pm on Thursday and then move to Stage 2 until 10pm.

File picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

AS THE demand for electricity peaks to its highest levels this year, Eskom has announced that Stage 1 load shedding will be implemented from 9am until 2pm on Thursday and then move to Stage 2 until 10pm.

Stage 1 load shedding will see the switching off of all geysers in Kimberley, while Stage 2 will see the two-hour rotating switching off of electricity according to the municipality’s Stage 2 schedule.

Eskom said in a statement issued on Wednesday night that due to the much colder weather, the demand for electricity had significantly increased on Wednesday afternoon. 

“It is currently more than 2 000MW higher than yesterday (Tuesday), and we forecast that evening peak demand will still be much higher. This was already the highest demand so far this year at more than 33 000MW. This, together with generation units that have suffered breakdowns, is putting severe strain on the system. Eskom is working hard to return these generation units to service to help reduce the strain on the system.” 

The power utility urged the public to assist by switching off heating appliances, geysers and other appliances. 

Stage 2 load shedding will continue until 10pm on Wednesday evening and will then be suspended for the night. On Thursday, load shedding will resume at Stage 1 from 9am until 2pm, before moving to Stage 2 until 10pm. 

“Eskom teams this afternoon managed to return one generation unit to service at the Tutuka power station. This, however, was countered by a generation unit each at the Medupi and Kusile power stations tripping, contributing to the constrained capacity. This adds to one delayed generation unit at Tutuka and one at Kendal. Eskom teams are working hard to return these generation units to service.” 

It assured the public that implementing load shedding was the last resort in order to protect the national grid.