Eskom says loadshedding will continue for the rest of the week.
Eskom’s Chief Operations Officer Jan Oberholzer says the outlook for this week is to maintain loadshedding due to the persistent rain because of the coal handling challenges.
On Monday Eskom announced power cuts of up to 6-thousand megawatts. Oberholzer says loadshedding problems are due to flooding that interrupted coal-fired power generation, partly by dampening the coal needed to burn.
Watch interview with Jan Oberholzer below:
Meanwhile – Mining companies have been affected by intensified loadshedding nationwide.
Morning shift operations have been suspended due to loadshedding at the Sibanye Gold mine in the Free State.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) says it is concerned about the current intensified loadshedding. AMCU national health and safety chairperson Xolani Bokoloshe says they are happy that their workers are being prioritised.
“We are very much concerned… yesterday we received the notice from Harmony informing us that they’ve made a decision to cancel the night shift… even Sibanye did the same thing. To us it was clear that now the mine took a right decision to prioritise the safety of our members. Even in this morning we have been informed that the same decision has been made, the morning shift has been cancelled.”
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Impala Platinum Mines in Rustenburg in the North West, has also seized production due to severe loadshedding. The company says it has restricted workers from going underground since Monday.
Impala spokesperson Johann Theron, says the current high levels of loadshedding have been a major blow to all producers of platinum group metals.
“At this stage we have got about a third – 30% – of the power available that we normally use, and under those conditions we have decided not to send our people under ground. So there is no production at our mines for today. So obviously we produce about 1 and a half million ounces of platinum group metals a year, and everyday that we lose we lose a percentage of that in broad terms we have to pay all our salaries and accounts but we don’t have revenue for today.”
On Monday, Eskom implemented Stage 6 loadshedding due to technical problems.
Eskom Board Chairperson Jabu Mabuza spoke to SABC News. Watch interview below:
The Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) says load shedding is costing the hospitality industry many millions of rand. Kwa-Zulu-Natal is one of the most popular holiday destinations for tourists during the festive season. Fedhasa’s provincial spokesperson Charles Preece says although generators have helped keep the lights on, the prolonged usage is costing hotels a lot of money.
“The real issue is the costs to the companies of loadshedding – because the Eskom bills are not going to come down, but the generator bills will go through the roof. Most hotels have backup plans in place after the last few years of loadshedding. If we are on stage 4 or 6 of load shedding, that is almost half your day, you are spending on generators and these generators are hugely expensive.”