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Residents in dark over load shedding

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The loss of the approximately 930MW unit puts further strain on the generation fleet, necessitating an increase in the stage of load shedding

CITY residents are in the dark regarding the load shedding schedule being implemented by the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

While Stage 4 load shedding was announced by Eskom on Monday afternoon, the municipality continued to implement its Stage 2 schedule, combined with the switching off of geysers.

Yesterday the local authority followed the Stage 4 schedule, despite messages doing the rounds on social media platforms that the Stage 2 schedule would again be implemented.

On Monday, because Stage 4 was announced only later in the day, the municipality continued to follow the Stage 2 schedule to ensure that residents whose power had already been switched off earlier in the day would not be affected again.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie confirmed that yesterday, however, the local authority implemented Stage 4 from when it was announced at 9am.

According to Eskom, the load shedding is due to a shortage of generation capacity resulting from unplanned breakdowns, including Koeberg unit 1.

“The unit has been disconnected from the grid due to a fault on the turbine side. However, the nuclear reactor remains safe. The seawater circulating water pump was damaged and it is expected that repairs will take a number of days before the unit can be brought back into operation,” Eskom said in a statement.

The loss of the approximately 930MW unit puts further strain on the generation fleet, necessitating an increase in the stage of load shedding.

“As the ageing fleet is currently constrained, unpredictable and vulnerable, we advise South Africans that the stage of load shedding may change at short notice, should there be any unexpected change in the generation system performance. Demand has also incrementally risen since January.

“It is only through partnership between Eskom and all stakeholders that we may soon emerge from these difficult times.

“We urge every South African to co-operate in managing electricity consumption with care to help us minimise load shedding. We thank you for your co-operation and understanding so far,” Eskom said.

Customers have been requested to continue to use electricity sparingly to assist Eskom to reduce demand.

Stage 4 was expected to continue until 11pm last night.