Eskom says it has put in place contingency plans to protect the country’s power supply against tropical storm Eloise that is expected to hit parts of South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe over the weekend.
The storm will make landfall at the Mozambican coastal town of Beira early Saturday morning after which it will hit parts of Zimbabwe and Limpopo with heavy rain and flooding expected in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
Eskom says its power stations in Mpumalanga have already begun preparations to implement their “wet coal” contingency plans.
Continuous heavy rainfall for more than four days could hamper coal handling at the power stations and the mines supplying them.
Eskom has put in place contingency plans for the tropical storm Eloise pic.twitter.com/tcAnwa8joM
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) January 22, 2021
The storm will also cross the transmission lines that import approximately 1 000 megawatts of power into South Africa from Cahorra Bassa in Mozambique.
While these lines and towers were reinforced a few years back after flooding downed towers, the two lines could still remain vulnerable during a tropical storm.
The power utility says it has placed extra staff to attend to faults as quickly as possible and has asked consumers to exercise patience when they have outages.
It says it will also work closely with the National Disaster Management Centre, the Provincial Disaster Management Centres in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the local government authorities, to ensure minimal disruption of supply to customers.
Farmers on high alert
Farmers in Limpopo are on high alert as several parts of the province are expected to be hit by tropical storm Eloise on Sunday.
Residents in the Mopani and Vhembe districts in Limpopo say they are aware of the arrival of the tropical storm and are making preparations.
“Yes, we are scared because they say it’s going to be huge. There is going to be a tropical cyclone and that being said we have seen what tropical cyclone has done in the past, as you can see our area here is disadvantaged and yes we have prepared a lot of things such as irrigation of water so that they can come and pass, I have heard people talking about but I don’t think I am really scared but here in this area, it gets flooded.”
-Reporting by Khyani Manyoni and Rudzani Tshivhase