Two words that strike fear into the hearts of South Africans are back in the news this week: load shedding.

The uniquely South African monster has raised an eyelid once more, but according to Eskom the threat of the lights going out is currently low.

“We continue to use open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) and emergency reserves to limit the possibility of load shedding. Some power generating units are projected to return to service later in the week,” Eskom said according to a report by SA News.

Of concern at the moment is the availability of coal to power the erm, power stations. There are as many as 10 power stations with less than 20 days of coal stockpiled. Disruptions in the supply of coal then would not be a good thing.

Which is why news that employees at Optimum Coal Mine blockading the road leading to Hendrina Power Station and the coal mine is concerning.

The employees are taking part in protest action against their employer and are demanding their salaries be paid.

As a result of this and the coal shortage at power plants, Eskom has asked citizens and businesses to use electricity sparingly.

“The Eskom multidisciplinary teams continue to work tirelessly on the Nine-Point recovery plan to improve generation and operational performance while also stabilising the system. We encourage residents and businesses to please use electricity sparingly to ease the demand for electricity,” the utility said.

While the possibility that the lights will go out is low we highly recommend checking Eskom’s website to acquaint yourself with load shedding schedules if you receive your power bill directly from Eskom. For those that receive their power bill from the municipality you will need to contact your municipal offices or visit their website for schedules.

We also highly recommend following Eskom over on Twitter and Facebook for alerts as they happen.

Time to dust off the ol’ generator I guess.

 

[Image – CC BY/2.0 Paul Cross]