South Africa’s power crisis worsened on Thursday as massive power blackouts continued for the second day, seriously affecting economic activities and people’s lives.
“Stage 2 rotational load shedding is currently being implemented from 09:00 until 23:00 today as a result of a shortage of capacity due to a number of generating units still out of service due to breakdowns,” said electricity utility Eskom which provides more than 95 percent of the electricity consumed in the country.
Stage 2 load shedding allows up to 2,000MW to be shed daily.
Eskom regrets the inconvenience and customers are reminded to treat all electrical points as live during this period, the state-run Parastatal said.
Load shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout, Eskom said.
Eskom resumed load shedding on Wednesday without notice after a respite of seven months.
The utility said the new round of power cuts could last until the end of this month.
This came despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s repeated pledge to turn around the debt-ridden utility haunted by poor management and alleged corruption.
The government has forked out billions of rand to bailout the cash-strapped utility, but with little effect.
Embattled Eskom said the latest load shedding came “as a result of the loss of additional generation, delays in the return to service of units that are on planned maintenance and limited diesel supply.”
The severe supply constraint being experienced has come about due to high levels of unplanned breakdowns that have exceeded the 10,500MW limit, Eskom said.
South Africa has chronically suffered from power insufficiency since 2008, with power cuts on and off regularly.
Load shedding costs the country billions of rand by the day and trillions over the years.
Chris Yelland, an energy analyst, said load shedding at stage 2 would cost the “productive economy” about two billion rand (about 134 million U.S. dollars) a day.