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Eskom’s operational crisis deepened on Monday, forcing it to shed 4,000MW — the biggest load it has ever dropped — to keep the grid stable. Load-shedding moved from stage two to stage four in a matter of hours after six additional units went down on Monday morning. It is the first time that Eskom has implemented stage four load-shedding. This means that about 40% of Eskom’s fleet was unavailable to generate electricity. Load-shedding is implemented by Eskom when electricity demand exceeds supply, placing the system at risk of tripping. The utility, which supplies more than 95% of SA’s electricity, is seen as a major risk to the country’s finances. The units that went down unexpectedly on Monday were: Medupi 5 and 6, Grootvlei 1 and 2; Majuba 4; and Kriel 5. In addition, two units, Duvha 3 and Lethabo 5, are on long-term outage after recent explosions put them out of service. Eskom said it was also experiencing lower than usual diesel supplies after the weekend.

The Grootvlei u...

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