Around mid September this news platform reported that load shedding was expected from the end of September. Luckily Eskom were able to keep the lights on an extra few weeks.
On Wednesday, October 16, Eskom announced that Stage 2 load shedding was expected across the country between 9am and 11pm. On Thursday the country woke up to hear they could once again expect shedding and rumors are that it might continue for another week.
Added strain on power stations could cause further failures
According to Eskom, there was a shortage of power to the grid which left the power utility little option but to implement load shedding in an attempt to restore a secure energy supply.
The State-Owned Entity’s technicians began noticing problems on Saturday morning when they discovered that some generating units had gone off-line due to boiler tube leaks.
The conveyor belt which transports coal to Medupi power station from Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine has also broken down and COO Jan Oberholzer has requested that both the public and business use power sparingly as they are having to tap into emergency supplies.
The coal is currently being fed to Medupi manually until a solution can be found.
Strain has been placed on the other power stations and there is fear of further failures.
Matric exams affected
Unfortunately the power outages have come at a bad time as Matric exams are underway and subjects such as Computer Applications Technology and Information Technology require electricity.
Parliament’s portfolio committee on basic education said Matrics were unable to complete their exams on Wednesday and wanted assurance from Eskom that this will not happen again.
Sovereign credit rating in jeopardy
The rand weakened on Wednesday due to investor concerns about the affect load shedding will have on the economy.
Earlier this year when Stage 4 load shedding was implemented, the economy declined due to a halt in production which occurred for up to 12 hours a day.
The economy is still in the process of recovery and Old Mutual Investment Group chief economist Johann Els said that this bout of load shedding could have a negative impact on business confidence.
The World Bank revised its growth forecast on Tuesday from 1.5 percent to 0.7 percent. The South African Reserve Bank has placed economic growth for the year at 0.6 percent.
There are fears that Moody’s will reduce South Africa to junk as Eskom have compromised the economic growth as the rand is expected to weaken further over the next few weeks.