CEO Andre de Ruyter says they’ve managed to bring several power plant units back online after consecutive trippings. File Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso
CEO Andre de Ruyter says they’ve managed to bring several power plant units back online after consecutive trippings. File Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso

De Ruyter says Eskom struggling to stabilise grid after 'suspicious trippings'

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Nov 19, 2021

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Cape Town - Eskom chief executive André De Ruyter says the utility is struggling to stabilise the grid, but has succeeded in bringing several power plant units back online after what he termed “suspicious trippings” and has moved to Stage 1 of the power outages from 5am this morning.

The units that were restored to service include Matimba 1 and 2, Kriel 3 and Majuba 4.

On Thursday, De Ruyter said that although he did not want to attribute malice without evidence, he found the fact that three units at Matimba had tripped simultaneously, suspicious.

He said the incident would be investigated and sabotage could not be ruled out.

On Wednesday, De Ruyter announced the return of load shedding, after a brief respite, due to the ongoing insufficient generation capacity and the loss of a unit each at Medupi, Duvha and Kendal power stations.

This meant Stage 2 load shedding was implemented from 2pm on Wednesday and would continue until 5pm tomorrow.

After the move to Stage 1 was announced for today, the City of Cape Town said that it’s customers would not have load shedding due to sufficient reserves.

“City customers will not have load shedding tomorrow (Friday) if Eskom’s plans do not change and City reserves remain favourable.”

Meanwhile, the DA in Parliament has written to Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo, to request a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament and invite President Cyril Ramaphosa to address South Africa’s electricity crisis.

Opposition chief whip Natasha Mazzone said: “Eskom’s inability to maintain a reliable supply of electricity has effectively subjected the country to rolling blackouts much more frequently than any time in the past 14 years. The electricity crisis has become the single biggest threat to livelihoods and our economy.

“With millions of South Africans having lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it cannot be business as usual when load shedding is said to be costing the economy R500 million per stage, per day,” she said.

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