Plunged into darkness, Newcastillians experienced loadshedding at its full potential on Monday, December 9.
During the course of the day, Newcastle Municipality issued a statement, claiming geysers in Newcastle would be switched off from 11am until 11pm.
This follows a statement issued by Eskom, where the power utility explains it has lost additional generation units this morning, increasing unplanned breakdowns (UCLF) to 14 200MW.
Along with a higher demand of about 600MW, Eskom explains this necessitated loadshedding to move up from Stage 2 to Stage 4.
Furthermore, Eskom claims with the incessant rains, the power utility is also beginning to experience flooding at some of its power stations. This has led to load losses and has impacted supply as the rainy weather persists.
In its statement, Eskom wishes to remind customers that loadshedding at Stage 4 is no cause for alarm. This is because the system is being effectively controlled. Loadshedding is a responsible act and highly controlled process; implemented to protect the country form a national blackout.
However, the situation escalated when Eskom took to social media, saying it would be moving to Stage 6 during Monday evening.
“We regret and sincerely apologise that stage 4 loadshedding will move to Stage 6 loadshedding as from 18:00 today, as a result of a shortage of capacity. This follows a technical problem at Medupi power station impacting additional generation supply,” it tweeted.
Head of communications at Newcastle Municipality, Dr Dumisani Thabethe emphasises the current loadshedding issues have nothing to do with the issues between the power utility and the municipality.
“Loadshedding is really becoming a challenge in Newcastle. It is a new experience to all of us, we will request you to understand that there will be delays in communication as we try to double-check the authenticity of the information; before it is made available to the public.”
Dr Thabethe assures the community will be notified of the loadshedding schedules as soon as it is available. “More information will be made available to you, as we get it from Eskom,” he concludes.
With loadshedding making its way to Newcastle, what are your thoughts on the situation? Share your views and opinions with us in the comment section below.