Eskom will shut a 930MW unit at its Koeberg nuclear power station for three months to perform regular maintenance, after implementing rolling blackouts for six straight days due to tight electricity supplies caused by ailing infrastructure and technical faults.
Eskom said on its Twitter feed, that there was a 50% chance of more power cuts on today.
“Any unexpected changes on an already constrained power system could result in load-shedding,” Eskom said in a tweet.
The electricity grid will remain severely constrained for the rest of week. It says technical faults and problems with its generators are making it difficult for the utility to keep up with electricity demand. It has once again urged residents to continue to use electricity sparingly to help ease the pressure on the grid.
Eskom is struggling to keep the lights on after the country failed to invest adequately in generation in the 20 years after the first democratic elections in 1994, even as the government expanded supply to an extra seven million people.
An average of 29% of Eskom’s installed capacity of 41,995MW has been out of service since the start of the year due to breakdowns or planned maintenance, according to data compiled by Bloomberg using information provided by the utility twice weekly.