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Because of “extreme pressure” on the electricity system, Eskom warned Thursday afternoon that it may have to introduce load shedding at short notice. During the course of the day, it has lost four power plants. A unit at each of the Tutuka, Medupi, and Majuba power stations tripped, while a unit at Lethabo has been brought down to fix a boiler tube leak.
“While the system is currently performing relatively well, with no load shedding being implemented, a further loss of generation capacity would force Eskom to implement load shedding at short notice in order to protect the integrity of the system, particularly between 18:00 and 21:00 this evening.”
It is estimated that breakdowns have amounted to 13 557MW of capacity, while planned maintenance is at 4 074MW. “Eskom is working to return as many of these units as possible, starting tonight,” according to a statement. In order to lessen the strain on the system, Eskom has advised South Africans to limit their electricity use.
On 22 July, load shedding was last experienced in South Africa. Eskom lost 700MW of capacity earlier this month after an incident at the Medupi Power Station destroyed a generator. Two years of work and R1.5-R2 billion in repair costs may be needed.