The country is in for a dark time for the next year and a half. As we battle through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Eskom has just announced load shedding is likely here to stay for the next 18 months.

The embattled power utility has submitted its long-term forecasts to the Standing Committee on Appropriations (SCOA), in which they predict that Stage 3 load shedding is likely to occur intermittently in the country for the next 18 months.

In a presentation to Parliament, Eskom explained that load shedding will likely continue from now until December 2020, and intermittent power cuts are on the cards for the foreseeable future.

The South African reports that Eskom announced that should they lose 11 000MW from the grid during the first few months of 2021, load shedding will have to pick up again in February to March and possibly between June and July. The power utility also predicts that Stage 3 load shedding may have to occur intermittently for the next 18 months, all the way to March 2022.

Eskom has recently been struggling with a severely constrained generation system as a result of multiple unit breakdowns. The Medupi and Kusile power plants continuously break down, which in turn affects the entire country’s power. Inclement weather and welding issues reportedly affect their maintenance.

“Until the defects at Medupi and Kusile have been addressed and until most of the reliability maintenance on the fleet has been executed, the Generation fleet remains unreliable and unpredictable with the risk of load shedding. These power cuts are an essential ‘last resort lever’ to protect the system,” they explain in a statement.
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