(Twitter, @CityofCT)
(Twitter, @CityofCT)
  • Eskom implemented stage 2 load shedding for the first time since March on Wednesday. 
  • Cape Town, however, only implemented load shedding stage 1. 
  • But the city said it maintenance on a critical dam is starting next week, and that means it won’t be able to avoid additional stages of load shedding until May.
  • For more go to Business Insider.

Cape Town was one of the only places in South Africa to avoid load shedding stage 2, only implementing stage one load shedding. 

But the city said if load shedding continues, it will be unable cushion its residents in similar fashion in future.

Eskom on Wednesday unexpectedly introduced load shedding stage 2 after more than 160 days without rolling blackouts in South Africa. 

Load shedding is expected to continue for the remainder of the week, Eskom said. 

Also read: As if load shedding isn’t bad enough, the petrol price may be going up too

City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for energy Phindile Maxiti said the city was able to soften the blow due to spare generation capacity from the Steenbras dam.

He said planned maintenance at the dam will, however, start from next week – and is expected to continue until May 2020.

“The necessary maintenance was planned for this period as electricity usage is lower at this time of the year, which would ideally have had a minimal impact on City-supplied customers,” Maxiti said. 

Eskom said Wednesday’s load shedding was sparked by a broken coal conveyor belt at Medupi power station.

In addition, five electricity generating units are unavailable due to boiler-tube leaks. 

Also read: Load shedding: 4 ‘quick fixes’ that can help Eskom keep the lights on

Eskom also blamed outages on delays in the return to service of units that were on planned maintenance, and said it is struggling with limited diesel supply. 

Cape Town has turned to the courts to demand the right to buy energy directly from independent producers.

The matter is expected to be heard in the first half of next year.