Carol Paton Writer at Large
A secuity guard patrols the entrance to Eskom's Megawatt Park head office in Woodmead, Johannesburg. File photo: THE TIMES/ALON SKUY
A secuity guard patrols the entrance to Eskom's Megawatt Park head office in Woodmead, Johannesburg. File photo: THE TIMES/ALON SKUY

Eskom announced stage-two load-shedding on Wednesday morning as unplanned plant breakages spiked and it was unable to meet demand.

The first load-shedding in more than six months came on the day the cabinet is due to deliberate on the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the government’s long-term planning strategy to meet electricity demand.

Eskom said stage-two load-shedding — which entails Eskom dropping 2,000MW from the grid to prevent it from tripping — will begin at 9am and continue until 11pm.

A new round of load-shedding during the summer, when Eskom experiences demand throughout the day and not just at peak periods, has been widely anticipated by Eskom watchers. The company put in place a “summer plan”, but plant performance has fallen below expectation.

The load-shedding underlines the urgency of procuring new capacity as Eskom’s poor plant performance continues to threaten the security of supply.

Organised business has urged the government to begin another procurement round of renewable energy, the quickest form of energy generation to build. It is hoped the publication of the IRP — which is years overdue — will lead to urgent new procurement.