Eskom is load shedding. Picture: 123RF
Eskom is load shedding. Picture: 123RF

Rolling blackouts will continue across the country on Sunday as Eskom grapples with the loss of generation capacity and replenishes its emergency power reserves.

A “conveyor belt failure” at Medupi power station thrust SA back into stage 2 load-shedding darkness on Saturday evening.

Eskom said on Sunday that the power system remained “constrained and vulnerable” and added that stage 2 load-shedding would continue until 5am on Monday.

“The conveyor belt failure at Medupi power station has since been repaired and the plant is feeding power into the grid,” the power utility said in a statement.

“This incident, however, as well as a loss of additional generation units, caused us to have to deplete our diesel and pump storage levels, which we need to restore as we head into the working week on Monday.

“Our teams continue to work tirelessly to return units back from planned and unplanned outages. Owing to inadequate maintenance over a number of years, the system remains vulnerable to unplanned outages.”

Eskom said further updates would be given about the prognosis for Monday and the week ahead

BusinessLIVE reported on Friday that the high number of plant breakdowns over the holidays was an indication that load-shedding would resume as demand normalised in mid-January.

With demand about 4,000MW lower than normal, Eskom had avoided load-shedding since mid-December. But unplanned breakdowns were higher than the desirable threshold of 9,500MW indicating that, when demand increased after the holidays, there would be little, if any, reserve margin.

TimesLIVE