Power utility Eskom has confirmed that stage 1 load shedding will be implemented on Saturday. Eskom’s spokesperson Dikatso Mothae says the power system remains volatile.  Earlier on Friday, Eskom said it would reinstate stage two load shedding from 12:00 pm to 11 pm tonight.

On Thursday, Eskom announced the implementation of stage 1 rolling blackouts for Friday, but this was suddenly elevated to stage-2 due to a major setback at Medupi Power Station.

The power utility said since the media briefing on Thursday night it has had a major setback as it has lost additional capacity from the Medupi power station.

Eskom said it has lost three units at Medupi due to coal and ash handling issues. It says this is in addition to the conveyer belt that failed at the station on Saturday last week. This means that the power system has deteriorated further creating an additional shortage of generation capacity of about 1 500 megawatts.

Eskom says it understands the negative impact this will have on its customers.

On Thursday,  Eskom Acting CEO Jabu Mabuza highlighted that the national power grid remains constrained and vulnerable although some of the generation units that broke down have been returned to service.

Meanwhile,  the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it has written to the Chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, Khaya Magaxa, to request that Eskom’s entire executive board and Minister Pravin Gordhan be summoned to appear before the committee for their evident inability to deal with the energy crisis in the country.

The party says the public needs clear strategies from the government regarding energy supply.

The DA says Thursday’s media briefing was a publicity stunt to detract attention from the fact that the country is facing an electricity meltdown