AS IT HAPPENED: Load shedding downgraded to stage 3 but 24-hour blackouts hit Zim

2019-12-10 21:00

South Africans are being hit hard by rolling blackouts across the country in the guise of load shedding by Eskom, further exacerbated by extreme weather conditions.

Soweto is expreriencing load shedding again. Photo

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Last Updated at 20:47
10 Dec 21:00

Zimbabwe’s state-owned Zesa Holdings escalated power cuts to as long as 24 hours after losing regional power imports, while local generation capacity remains critically constrained.

The power utility has a non-binding agreement to import as much as 400 MW of power from South Africa’s Eskom, which has been unable to meet local demand and has implemented rolling blackouts, now in their sixth day.


10 Dec 20:57

Eskom announced on Tuesday evening that rotational load shedding had been downgraded from stage 4 to stage 3 at 20:00.

The power utility did not immediately provide further information or say how long the stage 3 power cuts were expected to last.


10 Dec 20:54

Unpopular decisions will have to be made to fix ailing state-owned enterprises (SOEs), said Deputy President David Mabuza who also apologised for load shedding during his address at the SACP's special national congress. 

Mabuza admitted SOEs were "in a state of collapse", saying Eskom should get its house in order and take definitive measures and make plans to mitigate the growing crisis.


10 Dec 20:53

The multi-billion rand mega power stations Eskom commissioned in 2007, Medupi and Kusile, should take a large portion of the blame for the power utility's failure to keep the country supplied with electricity.

Energy expert Chris Yelland notes that there are several issues with the two megaprojects that were initially designed as part of a series of undertakings intended to boost Eskom's generation capacity by roughly 50%.

Chief among the problems is the fact that even when the incomplete stations are running, their production levels mirror or fall short of some of Eskom's oldest power plants, he said.


10 Dec 20:51

The Presidency has confirmed to News24 President Cyril Ramaphosa will cut his trip to Egypt short, returning home to deal with the ongoing power crisis.

According to Eyewitness News, Ramaphosa is set to meet with Eskom's leadership on Wednesday.News24 understands he was urged to cut his trip short by senior ANC officials.

The ANC's national executive committee (NEC) met this past weekend and Eskom's dire state formed part of the agenda.


10 Dec 20:50

As South Africans continue to grapple with load shedding - currently at stage 4 - it would appear many small business owners are taking strain because of the latest round of "ridiculous" power outages.


10 Dec 18:06

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has announced short- and medium-term interventions to meet South Africa’s energy demands and address its electricity and energy challenges, including steps to allow Independent Power Producers to come on stream sooner.

This was an "an urgent and immediate task to ensure economic growth", it said in a statement.


10 Dec 14:56

The Presidency has confirmed to News24 that President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to cut his trip to Egypt short, returning home to deal with the ongoing power crisis.

According to Eyewitness News, Ramaphosa is set to meet with Eskom's leadership on Wednesday.

News24 understands Ramaphosa was urged to cut his trip short by senior ANC officials.This is a developing story. More to follow.

10 Dec 14:46
As South Africa reels from persistent electricity blackouts, questions have been raised about why the Department of Energy and Eskom have not taken steps to procure new energy sources in recent years. 

10 Dec 14:39

Want a loan to install solar panels at your home or business? Here's what the banks are offering

Several South African banks are offering incentives for businesses and small companies to install solar PV panels. Solar panels can cost more than R100,000 for residences, and R3.2 million for medium-sized businesses. Business Insider South Africa compared the different funding options provided by banks. For more stories visit Business Insider South Africa.

10 Dec 14:18

Mines halt operations countrywide as Eskom asks for 20% power savings

Several mining companies in South Africa have had to temporarily shut down domestic operations after receiving requests by Eskom to reduce their load on the national power system. This comes after Eskom instituted stage 6 load shedding for the first time on Monday evening.

10 Dec 14:02

Load shedding could slash SA's GDP growth to just 0.3% - Intellidex

The effects of sustained load shedding in the fourth quarter of the year may make even the SARB's latest prediction look too rosy, says market research company Intellidex.

10 Dec 13:28

'Can I claim from Eskom?' - From spoilt food to job fears, South Africans share load shedding nightmares 

People across the country on Tuesday shared how rolling power outages were affecting their lives - from those struggling to keep jobs or businesses open, to others who depend on electricity for medical treatment.

News24 asked readers to share how Stage 6 load shedding affected them this week.

For a start, many readers said they could not even attempt to plan their lives when their power failed to play along with the load shedding schedules.

A man said his power had not come back on since midnight on Tuesday and he was in the dark as to what was happening.

10 Dec 12:14

10 Dec 12:05

10 Dec 12:00

SA 'really close to the edge' as Eskom forced to operate without 40% of capacity 

As Eskom implemented stage 6 load shedding for the first time on Monday evening, energy analyst Chris Yelland – speaking to Fin24 from a dark house and with an almost-flat cellphone battery – did not mince his words.

South Africa was "really close to the edge", but the public generally has a lack of understanding about the seriousness of the electricity crisis.

"Believe me, stage 6 load shedding is bad."

The struggling power utility ordered stage 6 rotational power cuts on Monday evening as it continued to battle capacity constraints caused by flooding and unplanned outages, including the failure of a power supply line feeding electricity conveyor belts feeding coal to silos at Medupi power station. 

10 Dec 12:00

Load shedding: Cape Town warns that water supply may be intermittent at Stage 6

Capetonians who are seeing red over load shedding should also prepare for possible interruptions to their water supply should Eskom decide to move to Stage 6, it emerged on Tuesday.

Citizens around the country were caught by surprise when the power utility moved to Stage 6 on Monday evening. On Tuesday, it moved to Stage 4 until 23:00, Fin24 reported. 

Now the City of Cape Town's water and sanitation department has warned that Stage 6 was likely to limit its ability to provide water across the city in the usual way.

10 Dec 12:00


Emergency services battling fire at Pretoria substation

A fire broke out at the Kwagga substation in Pretoria West on Tuesday morning. 

According to Jacaranda FM, Tshwane Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are battling the blaze that broke out at 03:00. 

EMS spokesperson Charles Mabaso told Jacaranda FM firefighters were dispatched from around 03:30 and have been fighting the blaze since then. 

Mabaso told the station that the situation had been complicated by the fact that now there was oil leaking from the substation itself.

10 Dec 12:00


Stage 4 load shedding to continue until 11pm on Tuesday 

After implementing stage 6 load shedding for the first time on Monday, Eskom says it will continue with stage 4 load shedding on Tuesday until 11pm. 

Stage 4 allows for up to 4 000MW to be cut from the national grid. 

Eskom has warned that cuts are likely to continue for the rest of the week as it battles severe capacity constraints caused by unplanned outages and flooding. On Monday it announced that heavy rains and floods at three power stations caused its already-reduced generation capacity to plunge further.

10 Dec 12:00


Stage 6 load shedding a major blow to growth, tax revenue - economists 

Economists have warned that the implementation of stage 6 load shedding for the first time would further dampen SA's already poor economic growth prospects.  

Eskom on Monday announced it was implementing stage 6 load shedding, which allows for up to 6 000MW to be cut from the national grid.  It downgraded the load shedding level back to stage 4 at 10pm, but warned that cuts were likely for the rest of the week as the Eskom continues to battle severe capacity constraints caused by unplanned outages and flooding. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a statement, said that public anger over the "devastating" power cuts was understandable, while Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan apologised on eNCA. 

10 Dec 12:00


Ramaphosa: Public anger over 'devastating' power cuts is understandable 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that ongoing rotational power cuts are causing great harm to the economy and disrupting the lives of citizens. 

The Presidency on Monday evening issued a statement in response to Eskom taking the unprecedented step of instituting stage 6 load shedding at 6pm. Stage 6 was implemented until 10pm, when the power utility announced the load shedding level had been downgraded to level 4. 

Eskom announced on Tuesday that stage 4 load shedding would continue until 11pm on Tuesday, with high risks of cuts for the remainder of the week. 

10 Dec 12:00


'There aren't even six stages of grief' - Twitter users react to stage 6 load shedding 

South Africans have responded with typical humour on Twitter to the news that power utility Eskom has implemented stage 6 load shedding on Monday.

In a tweet late on Monday afternoon, the power utility said: "We regret and sincerely apologise that stage 4 load shedding will move to stage 6 load shedding as from 18:00 today as a result of a shortage of capacity. This follows a technical problem at Medupi power station impacting additional generation supply."

10 Dec 12:00


Stage 6 load shedding: What you need to know 

In an unprecedented move, Eskom on Monday evening said it would introduce Stage 6 load shedding.

"We regret and sincerely apologise that stage 4 load shedding will move to Stage 6 load shedding as from 18:00 today, as a result of a shortage of capacity. This follows a technical problem at Medupi Power Station impacting additional generation supply," the power utility tweeted. 

To date, Eskom has only implemented load shedding up to Stage 4. 

Stage 6 load shedding means shedding 6000 MW. It is an indication that Eskom has lost over 40% of its generating capacity, according to energy analyst Chris.

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