Eskom to take ‘extraordinary measures’ to avoid load-shedding for elections - The Mail & Guardian

Stage four load-shedding rolled out to ensure the polls on Monday 1 November are energy secure

2021-10-27 10:15:00 PM

Eskom to take ‘extraordinary measures’ for local government elections - Stage four load-shedding rolled out to ensure the polls on Monday 1 November are energy secure

Stage four load-shedding rolled out to ensure the polls on Monday 1 November are energy secure

It comes on the back of stagefour load-shedding announced on Wednesdaymorning. “Over the past 24 hours a unit each at Medupi, Kusile and Matla power stations tripped while a unit each at Lethabo and Arnot power stations were forced to shut down.  This constrained the power system further, requiring extensive use of emergency reserves and therefore, hampering the recovery of these reserves,” Eskom said. 

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Find out more here.Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan joined Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter on Wednesday evening to brief the public on their plans to keep the lights on during the elections. “The following is likely to happen over the next few days,” Gordhan said. “The first is that overnight 1000 megawatts of power will be sent to operations. And as a result, it is expected that the system will be downgraded on a level four load-shedding to level two or level three load-shedding. Then over tomorrow and Friday, a few more 1000MW units will be put back as a result of units returning to operations and that will result in a downgrade from level three to level two.

“Over the weekend, load-shedding announced by the management will stop, which means that South Africans go to the polls on Monday and as the counting of votes precedes work on Monday evening, and over the next few days there will be no load-shedding, unless there is some unexpected event.”

The move to stage four, according to De Ruyter, was intentionally made to ensure that the lights stay on as South Africans go to the polls. Gordhan wants heads to roll if Eskom’s turnaround strategy does not put more capacity onto the grid in the near term. 

At the same time, he told reporters that as a result of human error this week, up to 700MW of power was taken off the grid.In one case he said an Eskom operator ignored a red light signal about a unit, and as a consequence that whole unit was lost. 

“This kind of lackadaisical approach and lack of rigour and diligence … is unacceptable, there must be appropriate consequence management where we come across these sorts of things,” Gordhan said. The minister was emphatic about theculture of corruption birthed by Eskom’s legacy of state capture

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and graft, with De Ruyter also acknowledging a past in which management did not accurately disclose plant performance information while running plants far harder than what they could handle. Eskom’s aged coal-powered fleet, and its poor maintenance record and coal quality, was exacerbated this week by a failure at unit one of the Koeberg nuclear power station in the Western Cape.

Gordhan said that plans were in place for the 16 000 voting stations to be divided into clusters which will have generators and technicians on standby in case of difficulties. He said that the 10 major result centres across the country will have generation capacity in the event that something “untoward occurs”.

The scanners used by theElectoral Commission of South Africa (IEC)during voting have a battery life of twelve hours. Gordhan said that in the event of problems a hotline team will be on standby for IEC centres. “​​Over the next few days, both diesel … important in the course of ensuring that the lights are on and pump stations, which are used to also supply a significant number of megawatts to the system [need to be] in shape by the weekend to back up the … power stations, in any shape or form that actually might be required,” Gordhan said.

“Secondly, it’s quite clear that within Eskom itself, further expertise is required and the board has been instructed this afternoon to take whatever measures are necessary in order to bring in expertise at all levels of Eskom and ensure that the proper level of professionalism and engineering rigour is applied within the Eskom environment.”

In February this year, it was revealed that the stage three load-shedding announced by Eskom was coupled with a hefty R10-million per hour to burn diesel, an emergency reserve when Eskom’s coal-fired power stations fail.In addition, De Ruyter said that Eskom would not cut back on short-term maintenance despite the current power cuts. He said that 500MW was on planned maintenance and that Eskom was sticking to that target. 

Total breakdowns currently amount to 14 957MW while planned maintenance is 5 301MW of capacity.Given the significance of energy security during the local government elections season, Gordhan said that Eskom, “should not be used as a political football”. 

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“Whatever frustrations, and I’m certainly frustrated as well, with the performance of the coal power stations — it’s important that we focus on getting the operations right at Eskom.“It’s important that we focus on going beyond load-shedding and I can assure you that, over the next few days everything possible will be done … on election day, and possibly on the days leading up to the election day as well [and] extraordinary measures will have to be taken in order to find the appropriate support that Eskom requires in order to fulfil its function,” Gordhan added. 

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WOW! JUST WOW! WELL DONE MYANC FOR DESTROYING THE COUNTRY - YOUR WORK IS LEGEND Totally ignoring the facts that matrics need to study for upcoming exams!!! Politians more important that educating the future of our country! all they care about is our vote Mxm anc Lies !!! Fuseg

Eskom implements Stage 4 blackouts until 5am FridayEskom says the blackouts are a result of units tripping at several power plants. Yet De Ruyter and Godhan are keeping their jobs! 🤷🏾‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️ From stage 2 to 4 Please Eskom just implement stage no electricity forever so we can stop paying you and have someone else can build a working grid!

Eskom to ramp up power cuts to stage 4 from Wednesday through to FridayEskom said that the move to stage four was because a generating unit each at Medupi, Kusile and the Matla power stations had tripped while a unit each at Arnot and Lethabo were forced to shut down. Well, fuck. We're so blessed to have the ANC in charge. Viva ANC! Viva corruption! Viva loadshedding! What a vote swinger for the ANC

Eskom implements Stage 2 load shedding from 6pmEskom has announced it will be implementing Stage 2 load shedding three hours earlier. Loadshedding has just become a welcomed thing by South Africans,if this was happening in Zuma's administration,the useless foundations,DA,EFF, COSATU,SACP,SACC and many others who get to b lapdogs of WMC would be up in arms,WHY is Ramaphosa so protected?

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CAROL PATON: Eskom green deal still in play as De Ruyter heads for GlasgowThe government is not doing what it should to solve the utility’s problems or achieve lower emissions politicsblahbla What the fuck is he going to do at Glasgow if he can't do what he was hired to do at Eskom...I wonder where are all those useless martyr who marched to 'SaveSA' but can't say a word about this useless racist and his loadshedding,amazing he's still CEO and the indian who hired him