JOHANNESBURG, June 18 – State electricity company Eskom said on Monday there is a low probability of rotational loadshedding during the day as a result of power station units being returned to the system after last week’s wage strike, but the probability was higher for the evening peak period due to increased demand.
Eskom said at the weekend the system remained constrained and would take up to ten days to recover from the effects of the strike, which was characterised by sabotage on its stations.
“Should rotational loadshedding be implemented today it would be for a period up to four hours,” it said on Monday, adding it would advise if rotational loadshedding would be conducted in either stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 or stage 4, dependent on the capacity shortage.
Stage one requires 1000MW to be rotationally loadshed nation-wide, stage 2 requires 2000 MW , stage 3 requires 3000 MW and stage 4 calls for up to 4000 MW to be rotationally loadshed nationally. Loadshedding is conducted as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.
“While safety of employees remains our first priority, recovery teams at our power stations continue to work hard to stabilise the power system and to return our generation plant as quick as possible,” Eskom said.
“Eskom’s prognosis is that the power system will take up to approximately ten days to recover from the effects of the recent industrial action, once all staff eventually return to work today.”
The government and unions have agreed to resume negotiations which had stalled over Eskom’s decision not to award salary increases due to financial constraints. At the weekend, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa said the zero percent proposal by Eskom was now “off the table”.
Labour unions are demanding a 15 percent increase for workers at Eskom, saying their members should not suffer for a financial crisis brought on by corruption and mismanagement by senior executives who have since been fired.
It said the strike had interrupted continuous processes at power plants, including coal management and transportation, which would now have to be cleared out and restarted, taking additional time. (ANA)