Eskom load reduction for Sunday now includes parts of Gauteng

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Power lines feed electricity to the national grid (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
Power lines feed electricity to the national grid (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

Eskom has announced that there will be more load reduction -  localised rolling blackouts aimed at easing the burden on the power grid - in several provinces on Sunday evening, including parts of Gauteng. 

The load reduction would affect the Matjhabeng and Thabo Mofutsanyana districts in the Free State from 17:00 to 20:00, the Msunduzi, Newcastle, Dannhauser and Emadlageni areas in KwaZulu-Natal from 17:00 to 19:00, and areas in the Mopani district in Limpopo from 17:00 to 21:00. In Gauteng it will affect Benoni, Brakpan, Nigel and Vosloorus from 17:00 to 22:00. 

The power utility said it is battling to keep up with the "increased equipment failure caused by overloading, that is costing millions to repair". 

This comes after Eskom implemented load reduction in several areas of Mpumalanga, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State earlier on Sunday. 

Eskom did not link the load reduction to the tropical storm Eloise. However there have been concerns that it could cross transmission lines that import around 1 000 MW of power into SA from Cahorra Bassa in Mozambique. Wet coal was also cited as a possible risk if flooding occurred. 

The SA Weather Service had earlier since issued a "red level 10 warning" for the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga for Sunday into Monday due to persistent heavy rain. This is the highest warning that can be issued and forecasts severe impact in the areas concerned.

There have been reports of light flooding and debris causing roads to be closed in low-lying areas of Limpopo after heavy rains and strong wind. 

The utility said on Friday it was working with the National Disaster Management Centre as well as Provincial Disaster Management Centre in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal to prepare for the storm and that it had "several" contingency plans in place. It would be covering a larger area than weather experts expected to be affected, Eskom said. 

 -compiled by Ahmed Areff

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