South Africans have been gripped by loadshedding since Thursday afternoon and the situation shows no signs of abating this weekend.

Eskom has implemented Stage 2 loadshedding since 23:00 on Friday evening. This followed an initial declaration of Stage 2 loadshedding on Friday morning before it was upgraded (or is it downgraded?) to Stage 4 loadshedding at 14:00.

“The systems continues to be tight, with unplanned breakdowns above 12 000MW necessitating the use of diesel and water reserves for open cycle gas turbines and pumped storage schemes respectively. With the incessant rain we continue to experience coal-handling problems at a number of our power stations as a result of wet coal which has led to generation units being unable to produce power,” Eskom said in a power alert issued on Friday evening.

The good news is that since that power alert, Eskom has managed to bring 1 000MW of capacity back to the grid as of 07:00 on Saturday morning. Sadly we are not out of the woods yet as Stage 2 loadshedding is expected to last through until 23:00 on Saturday evening.

It also appears as if some coal has dried.

“There is also an improvement in managing coal-handling with regard to wet coal, with only one station experiencing coal-handling problems as a result of the incessant rains,” Eskom said.

Either the coal-handling issue wasn’t as bad as Eskom made it out to be or Eskom has discovered that covering coal with some sort of non-porous material does a good job of keeping it dry from the rain.

With Stage 2 loadshedding set to continue through until 23:00 on Saturday we recommend checking your schedules so you’re aware as to when the lights will be out in your area.

Whether loadshedding will persist through to Sunday remains to be seen.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.