Explosions, leaks and fires: Eskom's technical woes that escalated load shedding to Stage 4

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Dark days - Eskom's Tutuka power station has been underperforming for years.
Dark days - Eskom's Tutuka power station has been underperforming for years.
PHOTO: Kyle Cowan

A massive explosion, a fire, boiler tubes rupturing due to age and poor coal quality, and an earth leakage are some of the myriad technical problems that contributed to Stage 4 load shedding last week.  

Last Monday, Eskom reported that roughly 17 000MW capacity (out of just over 35 000MW installed base load capacity) was offline due to unplanned breakdowns. By the end of the week on Friday, this had reduced to just over 11 000MW, but the damage was done. South Africa endured a week of load shedding, which escalated from Stage 2 to 4.  

Poor condenser vacuums, poor coal mill performance, fan vanes saturation, thrust bearing issues, demineralised water shortages, turbine steam leaks, condenser tube leaks, and boiler tube leaks are just some of the faults registered at power stations. 

Support independent journalism
Subscribe to News24 for just R75 per month to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism. You can cancel any time.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
71% - 10144 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
29% - 4087 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.99
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
21.20
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
18.05
+0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.23
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+0.8%
Gold
1,781.12
-0.2%
Silver
22.34
-0.9%
Palladium
1,779.50
-2.0%
Platinum
936.50
+0.0%
Brent Crude
69.88
+0.3%
Top 40
64,484
+0.3%
All Share
70,978
+0.2%
Resource 10
66,894
+0.6%
Industrial 25
93,652
-0.2%
Financial 15
14,064
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE