Hello darkness, my old friend: A week with(out) Eskom

12 December 2019 - 06:15 By Unathi Nkanjeni

SA remains in the dark as unplanned breakdowns leave Eskom “severely constrained” and implementing load-shedding for the seventh consecutive day. 

The crisis deepened on Monday when the power utility implemented stage 6 load-shedding for the first time.

Here a timeline of SA's dark days, which started on December 5. 

Generating capacity

Earlier this week, the power utility announced that the probability of load-shedding for the rest of the week remained high.

Eskom said unplanned breakdowns were above 12,000MW, about a quarter of the utility's nominal generating capacity.

Stage 6

While South Africans were enduring stage 4 power cuts on Monday, Eskom announced that stage 6 was being implemented and that it was planning for stages 7 and 8.

It said stage 6 was due to “a technical problem at Medupi power station”

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Celebs react

Mzansi took to social media to express its disappointment, while actor Rami Chuene's response to the power cuts took the cake.

On Twitter, she quoted John 8:12: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Politicians react

Politicians, including former DA leader Mmusi Maimane and the EFF's deputy leader Floyd Shivambu, expressed frustration with the situation.

Bonang makes the call

On Tuesday, TV personality Bonang Matheba called on Eskom to sort things out for Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi's return home.

She said it would be embarrassing if Miss SA returned to a dark country.

Ramaphosa responds

President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short a two-day trip to Egypt after the DA blasted him for handling the issue via cellphone.

TimesLIVE reported that sources within the presidency said Ramaphosa would meet Eskom executives on Wednesday to deal with the crisis.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said "sabotage" wet coal and an ageing fleet led to stage 6.

He said there would be no load-shedding from December 17 the lights would stay on.