Stage 3 rolling blackouts implemented on Monday

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Eskom is implementing stage three rolling blackouts until four o’clock on Monday afternoon and thereafter it escalates to stage four until midnight.

Stage three will kick in after midnight every day. Eskom says this pattern will be repeated until Thursday.

The power utility has been struggling to keep the lights on, with its ageing coal-fired power generators.

Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha says, “Further updates will be issued on each day when significant changes occur. We are experiencing constraints from diesel suppliers. This is affecting the availability of bulk diesel at one of the sites which has a combined capacity of about 2000mw. While we expect delivery on Tuesday onwards, should this situation persists higher standards of load shedding will be required.”

Despite the expectation of lowered stages, the utility says the capacity constraints will persist for a while.

According to Eskom, this weekend’s blackouts were used to replenish the pumped storage dam levels, which were utilised extensively over the past week. In its last update, it said it’s experiencing constraints from its diesel suppliers that are affecting the availability of bulk diesel to the Ankerlig and Gourikwa Open Cycle Gas Turbines, which have a combined capacity of 2 000MW.

It warned that should these persist, higher stages of rolling blackouts may be required.

Meanwhile, according to reports, the Eskom Board may be restructured this week following a Cabinet meeting.

Eskom to implement Stage 3 and 4 rolling blackouts until Thursday:

Energy crisis

Former President Thabo Mbeki has questioned why the energy crisis in the country is not being addressed effectively. He also added his voice to those asking if the answer doesn’t lie in placing engineers and economists in the leadership of Eskom.

Mbeki made the comments during his engagement with students and diplomats at Unisa last week.

“Why do we seem to be incapable-as a country that is- incapable of addressing this matter effectively? Is it an issue that Pali Lehohla is raising? Let’s put engineers and economists as the leadership of Eskom, maybe that is the answer. But I’m saying it going to come from the kind of leadership that we need.”

Agri SA has called on government to declare the agriculture industry an essential service to ensure the country’s farming operations and food supply chain are not disrupted during rolling blackouts.

The agricultural industry association says it’s approached Eskom for talks – warning that the current energy crisis may have implications for food security next year.

ANC Presidential hopeful, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says Eskom’s failure to generate power could be solved by having sufficient capacity, proper maintenance and a better energy mix.

She was speaking in an exclusive interview with the SABC.

This comes as the world continues to move away from coal, oil and gas toward cleaner energy like wind and solar.

However, some European nations have admitted to having to return to coal in their energy mix for a short period because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.