Picture: 123RF/BEERCRAFTER
Picture: 123RF/BEERCRAFTER

Load-shedding was downgraded to stage 3 from 9pm on Thursday, embattled power utility Eskom said.

It will then be downgraded again to stage 2 from 5am Friday morning until 5am on Saturday.

In a statement, Eskom said that this was because units at Medupi, Koeberg, Kriel, Duvha, Kusile and Tutuka power stations had returned to service in the past day, helping ease the current power constraints.

“Unfortunately, during this time, a unit each at Majuba and Arnot power stations tripped, while a single unit at Matla was forced to shut down,” the utility said.

Eskom said there were now 14,161MW lost in total breakdowns, and 5,450MW was unavailable due to planned maintenance.

The announcement came on the same day President Cyril Ramaphosa called for cool heads on the power problem.

“This is not the time for incriminations. It is, for me, a time to get people to buckle down and do their work. I don’t believe that this was intentional,” said Ramaphosa on the sidelines of an election campaign trail in Ekurhuleni.

“We are all concerned and, also, a bit upset. Others are very angry, and this is the time for us to work together to solve this problem.”

“It then becomes unfortunate when those generators that are meant to generate the power also face breakages and now, obviously, when it happens around two or more occasions, like matriculants writing exams and an election, it does become a major challenge to the people of our county. I am concerned,” he said.

He said this is why he insisted that public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan give the facts and an explanation to the nation on Wednesday.

“I know that they are working very hard to turn the situation around and I am confident that they will turn it around by the weekend,” he said.

Ramaphosa said he was aware that this was a matter of great concern to all South Africans but “when we give an explanation and are transparent, people do get a sense of understanding”.

“The breakage of machines is not intentional. There could be some negligence. There could be some oversight that did not happen but it is not intentional and it so happens that it happened at a critical time in the life of our country.”

“These are challenges that we must solve and we are going to solve them. I am determined that they shall be solved by the weekend,” he said.

TimesLIVE

subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.