South Africa’s Eskom Ramps Up Intensity of Power Cuts

Sep 10, 2022 by Bloomberg
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Electrical power lines above stores in the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in the Hout Bay district of Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. South Africa's state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. warned it may have to implement rolling blackouts for the first time in more than a week due to a shortage of generation capacity.

South Africa’s state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. will increase the intensity of power cuts after it experienced additional breakdowns.

The utility will implement so-called stage-4 loadshedding, where it cuts 4,000 megawatts from the grid, until 5 a.m. Sept. 12, it said on Twitter. 

That’s after a unit at its coal-fired Kendal plant, about 68 miles east of Johannesburg, was forced offline for emergency repairs and units at four other power stations were shut down for critical planned maintenance including one at Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa hydropower plant, it said. 

The current round of blackouts started on Sept. 6 after three weeks without interruptions and on the day the nation’s statistics office published data that showed the economy contracted in the second quarter when South Africa was hit by record power outages.

The country has experienced 96 days of power cuts so far this year. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has turned to the private sector in a bid to end the 14-year-old power crisis that the government has failed to resolve.

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By Monique Vanek

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