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South Africa hit by new round of power blackouts

Christian Fernsby ▼ | October 17, 2019
A new round of power blackouts hit South Africa on Wednesday.
Africa   Eskom
Embattled electricity utility Eskom said the electricity system has been severely constrained this week, leading to the blackouts.

Topics: South Africa power blackouts

"As a result of the loss of additional generation, delays in the return to service of units that are on planned maintenance and limited diesel supply, it has become necessary to implement stage two rotational load shedding from 09:00 until 23:00 in order to protect the power system from a total collapse," the state-run parastatal said.

Stage two load sheding allows up to 2,000MW to be shed daily.

The severe supply constraint being experienced has come about due to high levels of unplanned breakdowns that have exceeded the 10,500MW limit, Eskom said.

The supply constraint is caused by, among others, five generating units that are unavailable due to boiler tube leaks, said the utility.

In addition, a conveyor belt supplying Medupi Power Station in Limpopo Province with coal failed on October 12, resulting in low volumes of coal being supplied to the power station thus limiting the generating capability to approximately half the station output, said Eskom.

As the country's major electricity supplier, Eskom implements load shedding as a last resort to protect the national system from a total collapse.

Earlier this year, widespread blackouts gripped the country, seriously impacting economic activities and people's lives.

Poor management and alleged corruption at Eskom are believed to be the main factors behind constant power blackouts in the country.