Eskom has announced that it will implement stage 1 load-shedding from 09:00 until 23:00 on Monday 9 March 2020.

The power utility said that load-shedding will likely continue until Thursday due to a number of unplanned breakdowns.

“We regret to inform the country that starting from 09:00 tomorrow, Eskom will implement Stage 1 load-shedding until 23:00.”

“It is envisaged load-shedding may continue to be implemented until Thursday.”

“This is due to a number of units still on unplanned breakdowns, which will only return during the course of the week.”

Eskom added that this period of load-shedding will also help it to rebuild its emergency reserves depleted last week.

Demand has increased incrementally since January and has put pressure on ageing power stations, Eskom said.

Unplanned breakdowns or outages were at 11,700MW as of 19:20 on 8 march, and planned maintenance outages were at 4,963MW.

“We urge every South Africa to co-operate in managing electricity consumption with care to help us minimise load-shedding,” Eskom said.

Stage 8 load-shedding without government support

Eskom’s power crisis is far from over, with the power utility warning that its maintenance plan must be supported by the government or South Africa can expect regular stage 8 load-shedding by mid-2021.

CEO Andre de Ruyter has previously stated that more planned power outages would be necessary for the next 18-24 months so the company can catch up with deferred maintenance.

“We have to conduct these maintenance programs if we are to avoid worse load-shedding in future. The time for an intervention is now,” he said in an interview in Cape Town on 4 March.

“The notion that we can keep the lights on at all costs simply means we will be kicking the can further and further down the road until the inevitable day of reckoning when the system really falls over will approach.”

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