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HomeNewsLatest NewsEskom Blames Heatwave For Stage 6 Load Shedding

Eskom Blames Heatwave For Stage 6 Load Shedding

This week, South Africa experienced a heatwave in five provinces, including Gauteng, which has been identified as one of the reasons for the sudden implementation of Stage 6 load shedding.

The South African Weather Service had predicted a heatwave in Gauteng, KZN, the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga from Sunday to Friday, with temperatures soaring 5°C above the average maximum temperature of the hottest month for three or more consecutive days.

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According to Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the electricity minister, the heatwave was not the only factor contributing to the Stage 6 load shedding. He mentioned that there was a sudden spike in electricity demand of over 1,500 MW, the loss of five generating units, and the need to replenish emergency generation reserves.

Eskom, the national power utility, reported that unplanned outages currently stood at over 15,901 MW, with an additional 5,800 MW of generating capacity currently out of service.

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Bheki Nxumalo, the head of generation at Eskom, explained at a media briefing on Friday that the increased demand for air conditioning and fans during the heatwave could be attributed to the load shedding at Stage 6 level.

He stated, “The increase in demand today can be attributed to the heatwave we are experiencing because we suspect it is coming from the air conditioning.”

Nxumalo further highlighted the impact of the heatwave on the partial load losses, particularly at the Matimba power station, where the current partial load losses were approximately 7,000 megawatts.

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He also mentioned that boiler tube leaks were occurring simultaneously at the Majuba, Lethabo, and Tutuka power stations, resulting in unit losses. Nxumalo clarified that these leaks were not due to maintenance backlogs but rather a coincidence of high erosion areas experiencing leaks at the same time.

Apologizing for the load shedding, Ramokgopa assured the public that they were working diligently to eliminate load shedding and would provide an update on the progress of the situation on Sunday. He acknowledged the significant disruption caused to individuals and businesses, emphasizing that they understood the severity of the situation and were taking it seriously.

The combination of the heatwave, increased electricity demand, and generating unit losses has led to the implementation of Stage 6 load shedding in South Africa.

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While the heatwave has been a contributing factor, it is important to note that other issues, such as maintenance backlogs and boiler tube leaks, have also played a role in the current energy crisis.

As South Africa continues to grapple with these challenges, it is crucial for the government, Eskom, and the public to work together to find sustainable solutions.

Investing in renewable energy sources, improving infrastructure, and implementing energy-saving initiatives can help mitigate the impact of heatwaves and reduce the likelihood of load shedding in the future.

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Parusha Naidoo for SurgeZirc SA
Parusha Naidoo for SurgeZirc SA
Parusha Naidoo is a skilled journalist who writes local and world news for SurgeZirc South Africa. With a passion for delivering accurate and reliable information, Parusha has become a trusted voice in the news industry. With years of experience in the field, Parusha has developed a keen eye for identifying important stories and presenting them in a clear and concise manner.
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