Eskom implements load shedding

Johannesburg - People in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Cape Town have to contend with power cuts on Sunday because Eskom lost 1800MW.

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The outages could last the rest of the week, Eskom warned.

City Power had been asked to cut back on 460MW, Johannesburg's power utility said in a statement.

The Ekurhuleni municipality said Eskom had asked it to help reduce the load on its electricity network.

"Since 08:30 this morning, the [municipality] has been undertaking this load reduction exercise by following the load shedding schedules available on the municipality's website," it said in a statement.

The power cut schedules were on City Power and Eskom's websites.

The City of Cape Town received a similar request from the national power utility.

"Residents and suburbs may be affected at their indicated times, depending on the current demand from Eskom."

Crack in coal storage silo

Eskom said it would start rolling blackouts countrywide on Sunday due to a loss of capacity at its Majuba power station in Mpumalanga.

A crack in a coal storage silo on Saturday afternoon caused the loss of 1800MW, it said in a statement. The power shortage was expected to last the entire week and blackouts would happen between 08:00 and 22:00.

The silo, which stores over 10 000 tons of coal, cracked on Saturday afternoon. This affected coal supplies to all six units at the power station. It was currently generating only 1300MW.

According to the Sustainable Energy Society of SA, Majuba accounts for 10% of Eskom's power generation capacity.

On Thursday, Eskom issued an alert that the country's power system is under severe strain due to technical faults.

Meanwhile, work at the Kusile and Medupi power stations is progressing well.

The load shedding schedule is available here: http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za

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