Power cuts likely to continue throughout winter: Eskom

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Eskom has warned that planned power cuts are likely to continue through winter because of an aging generation fleet and the cold weather which leads to higher demand.

The cash-strapped power utility says people should conserve power as much as possible. Eskom has implemented Stage 4 loadshedding until 10 this evening.

It will then switch to stage two loadshedding for the rest of the week. Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha says the power utility is aware of the economic damage caused by power outages but the demand for electricity currently exceeds supply and Eskom has to protect the grid.

“By law, there are areas that cannot be shed but by and large everybody is loadshed and that’s the reality we find ourselves in at this point. It cannot be overestimated, the amount of damage that any disruptions to the supply of electricity cause across a wide range, across society and across very critical key services there’s no doubt that a lot of damage has been caused by the implementation of loadshedding and Eskom would like to apologise to the people of South Africa for the inconvenience. The reality though is that we will be having loadshedding throughout winter.”

In the video below stage 4 loadshedding is explained:

Impact of loadshedding on businesses

Business Unity South Africa says stage four loadshedding will have a detrimental effect on businesses as they are still trying to recover from the COVID 19 pandemic. BUSA Chief Executive Officer Cas Coovadia says this is bad for an economy that is already on its knees.

“In an economy that’s barely growing, business has just started coming out of COVID. And we are in a midst of the third wave of COVID now. And we have been warned by Eskom that this is going to take a while. Not having power is detrimental to all types of business.”

A call for Eskom CEO to be fired 

The National Union of Metalworkers is calling for Eskom CEO, Andre De Ruyter to be fired over the worsening power supply crisis in the country.  Numsa is the second-biggest union at Eskom and has long been critical of De Ruyter’s performance.

“Under Andre De Ryter we have experienced the worst bouts of rolling black-outs. We reiterate our call for Andre De Ryter to be dismissed because he does not know what he is doing when it comes to the role that he needs to play as the GCEO of Eskom,” says spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi- Majola.