Zimbabwe’s electricity supply situation may worsen on Thursday evening after South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, announced that it will be implementing Stage 2 load shedding due to shortage of capacity.
Zimbabwe imports up to 400 megawatts from its Southern neighbour to mitigate debilitating rolling power cuts that have been ongoing for several months.
A statement by Eskom reads:
POWER ALERT 2
Date: 05 December 2019
Stage 2 load shedding from 16:00 today
Thursday, 05 December 2019: Eskom would like to inform South Africans and all its customers that the electricity system is severely constrained.
In the power alert issued earlier this morning, Eskom informed that unplanned breakdowns were at 12 300MW and that there was a probability of load shedding at short notice if unexpected shifts, such as additional unplanned breakdowns, were experienced.
We have experienced a loss of additional generation. As a result, it has become necessary to implement Stage 2 rotational load shedding from 16:00 until 23:00 in order to protect the power system from a total collapse.
In the System Status Briefing of 4 September 2019 Eskom warned that in order to avoid load shedding, unplanned breakdowns needed to be contained at below 9 500MW.
In the event generator breakdowns are experienced beyond 10 500MW there will be high usage of emergency resources (diesel and pumped storage generators), which may lead to load shedding if the supply constraints are sustained for a long duration.
The severe supply constraint being experienced has come about due to high levels of unplanned breakdowns that have exceeded the 10 500MW limit.
We unreservedly apologise to South Africans for the negative impact this may have on them and want to assure the nation that we continue to work tirelessly to ensure the security of energy supply.
A concerted collective effort to reduce demand can help to avoid or lessen the level of load shedding. And as such, we strongly urge customers to assist by helping to reduce demand by using electricity sparingly.
- Set air-conditioners’ average temperature at 23°C
- Switch off your geysers over the peak period
- Use the cold water tap rather than using the geyser every time
- Set your swimming pool pump cycle to run twice a day, three hours at a time for optimal energy use
- At the end of the day, turn off computers, copiers, printers and fax machines at the switch. Avoid standby or sleep mode
Customers are advised to check their load shedding schedules on the Eskom or municipal websites.
We remind customers that load shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.
We will continue to keep South Africans informed about the status of the electricity system.
Issued by: Eskom Media Desk
Tel: +27 11 800 3304/6103/6050/2493
Fax: 086 664 7699