City Power customers in Johannesburg are the only ones to experience four-hour blocks of continuous load-shedding, the power utility said in a tweet.
“Due to the interconnectedness with City Power systems, Eskom is engaging with City Power to reduce the duration of load-shedding as only areas in Johannesburg are currently experiencing four-hour load-shedding,” Eskom said.
“We hope to have an update on this change during the course of the week.”
In other areas, load-shedding is usually broken up into smaller blocks of around two hours each to reduce the maximum extended downtime caused by the rolling blackouts.
In Johannesburg, however, consumers often experience four-and-a-half-hour blocks of load-shedding at a time – even under stage 2.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many South Africans to work from home, this extended downtime could be detrimental to professionals working remotely in Johannesburg – especially if they do not have any power backup systems.
Eskom had originally planned to stop load-shedding at 23:00 on Sunday 17 January, but it has been forced to continue implementing rolling blackouts due to its failure to return two generation units at the Kusile power station to service.
“Over the past 24 hours, Eskom teams were able to return a generation unit each at the Kriel, Grootvlei and Duvha power stations to service,” it said on Sunday.
“Despite stringent measures to manage the impact of the second wave of the pandemic on the operations, we are experiencing some impact on operations, including suppliers.”
Load-shedding a risk for 2021
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha has warned that the risk of load-shedding remains elevated for the better part of 2021.
The risk will be reduced after September, but it is expected that load-shedding will remain a major risk until then.
“We will have a respite here and there during this period, but our reality is that load-shedding will be with us for quite a while,” he said.
Mantshantsha said it is regrettable that Eskom is in the situation it is, but added that their management and engineering teams are working hard to address the problems at the power utility.
He said four generation units at Medupi had their design defects repaired, and the last two are being worked on.
“The work will carry on at the Kusile power station and we hope to have a stable supply of 9,000MW from the two new power stations to reduce the risk of load-shedding,” he said.