Eskom tarrif hike

Eskom on Sunday downgraded load shedding stages from Stage 4 to Stage 3 and 2, revealing that the energy company is expecting 4,170 megawatts of generation capacity to return this Wednesday.

"Having sufficiently replenished emergency reserves over the weekend, Stage 2 load shedding will continue to be implemented until Monday 16:00. (Previously communicated that Stage 3 load shedding will be implemented at 16:00 today until 05:00)," Eskom wrote on the official X handle (formerly Twitter).

It further noted that South Africans will experience load shedding Stage 3 from 4 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Tuesday onwards. Whereas, the alternating pattern of load shedding Stage 2 will be followed from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday onwards until further notice.

The energy company also noted that a 4,170 megawatt of generation capacity is expected to be returned by Wednesday.

The update came after Eskom implemented Stage 4 last week, explaining that last Thursday (Feb. 22) the power generating capacity lost five generating units at Kendal and a unit at Duvha power stations.

"Kendal Unit 1 was taken offline on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. due to leaking safety valves, which caused the capacity of the demineralized water storage tanks to run low. While recovering the storage water tanks, a contamination incident occurred in the water treatment plant, necessitating the isolation of the plant to investigate the root cause," Eskom said, SA News reported.

"During this period of investigation, the level of auxiliary cooling water, which also uses demineralized water, ran low. This led to capacity loss from four generating units at 2:00 a.m," it added.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa last week said that the government is working on expediting the expansion of transmission lines to the Cape provinces, a move that is expected to unlock at least 2,335 megawatts (MW) of energy in the short term.

In the wake of solving the energy crisis in the country, the power utility announced last month that South Africa's town of Clarens in the Free State has become the country's first town to manage its electricity demand during load curtailment.

Clarens, located in the eastern part of the province, is the only town in South Africa that manages its load curtailment by making collaborative efforts to reduce load when requested.