South Africa’s utility company, Eskom has warned the public to cut electricity usage urgently as it lost four large units to unplanned breakdowns and another two units – which were scheduled to return to service – remain offline.
A statement issued by the company explained that the breakdowns were at Kendal, Majuba and Lethabo, while the delays were at Duvha and Tutuka.
It added that one more unit was taken offline at Kendal due to “technical difficulties” and to address emissions.
Eskom has 31 000 MW available in total to meet demand on Tuesday night, according to the utility.
“While we expect some units to return to service soon, this situation may persist until the weekend. We urge the public to reduce consumption by switching off non-essential appliances in order to maintain the integrity of the system,” Eskom said.
The statement comes on the back of blackouts hitting Johannesburg due to increased demand and a spike in illegal connections.
Eskom has avoided load shedding during the coronavirus lockdown due to reduced usage, but, with the start of winter, it want consumers to cut electricity usage as it battles to meet demand.