Since early December last year, Eskom has had to implement load-shedding, mainly due to unplanned outages, but while the utility has blamed inadequate maintenance and ageing power stations, it is rather shortages of technical staff that seem to be the cause.

Unplanned outages between December 2019 and January 2020 averaged 12,927MW. On December 9, when Eskom implemented stage 6 load-shedding, unplanned outages amounted to 14,200MW. To put this in perspective, Eskom's installed capacity is 44,172MW. Management aimed to keep unplanned breakdowns below 9,500 MW (21% of capacity), but actual unplanned outages came in at 29% of capacity. Also, Eskom needs to do planned maintenance on 5,500MW (12% of capacity).

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