Eskom: Stage 1 load shedding under way

GridWatch[http://www.loadshedding.news24.com]

Cape Town - Eskom announced in its power alert that it would implement stage 1 load shedding from 18:00 on Tuesday, which is likely to continue until 22:00 this evening.

The load shedding alert came on the first day of the Mining Indaba, which attracts delegates from 110 countries with over 45 government delegations, including former UK prime minister Tony Blair, who gave the keynote speech on Tuesday.

The decision to cut power was "due to a shortage of generation capacity as several units are currently on unplanned outages due to technical faults," Eskom said, repeating a line used almost daily since Koeburg's Unit 1 went offline.

Eskom said the power system remained constrained and would remain so for the rest of this week. "We therefore urge all electricity customers to reduce their consumption in order to reduce the severity of load shedding," it said.

News24 on Monday announced the launch of its online load shedding planner, which will help users get up-to-date information regarding power cuts in their homes, offices and gym.

Save this site: GridWatch

The announcement comes after government on Tuesday dismissed a hoax statement saying it had been warned by Eskom that the main power grid could crash, plunging the country into darkness for over two weeks.

"The message regarding Eskom is not true and is meant to create unnecessary panic. Load shedding is a controlled and planned method to ensure that the power system is protected from a total blackout," said acting director-general Donald Liphoko in a statement.

Read: Govt dismisses Eskom 'crash' hoax

The “human error” that led to one of the units at Koeberg suddenly shutting down last Sunday — removing 900 megawatts from the power grid for a week - cost the country’s economy at least R7.5bn.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe on Monday told Netwerk24 that workers erecting scaffolding last Sunday to prepare for maintenance planned for this week accidentally touched the main generator transformer at Unit 1 of the Koeberg power station.

Phasiwe said this caused a limited earth fault and the reactor had to be shut down immediately to prevent it burning out.

Read: Koeberg 'human error' cost economy R7.5bn

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