Continental Focus, International Reach

Lights Out in South Africa as Power Cuts Hit

Friday, October 18, 2019

South Africa suffered a second day of power cuts on Thursday as many of state utility Eskom’s generators were out of service. Some of the generating units were repaired, but many remained under repair and the company is expected to bring more units back online over the next few days.

On Wednesday Eskom said it planned to cut 2,000 MW of power from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. local time on Thursday. The cuts were to be implemented on a rotational basis throughout the country. These power cuts are the first to be experienced in about seven months.

“Contingency measures have been put in place to manually feed coal to Medupi (power plant) whilst we look into a permanent solution to the coal conveyor belt failure at the station,” Eskom said, adding “We have started receiving additional diesel supplies from the major oil service providers and as such we are comfortable that we can build the necessary diesel and water reserves to acceptable levels over the weekend.”

Eskom’s generator issues have also affected its exports to neighbor Zimbabwe to which it normally sends 400 MW of power daily.