Eskom to implement Stage 3 and 4 load shedding this weekend

As Eskom continues to experience power capacity constraints, acting general manager Thomas Conradie says the power utility will implement Stage 3 and 4 load shedding this weekend.

“We are forced to continue applying the Stage 4 load shedding over this weekend in the same pattern as what we have previously done. This is because we need to rebuild our reserves and recover some of our coal stock levels due to heavy rains as well as a plant problem on one of the conveyer belts” Conradie said.

Addressing a virtual media briefing on Friday, he said the heavy rain experienced especially from the east has impacted power stations towards the east of Mpumalanga and the Vaal.

“In the past three years we have been working on improving what is called rain readiness to ensure that we can best deal with the rain situation. It helps to have adequate coal reserves for shorter spells of very heavy rains.

“During long rainfall spells, all your dry and seasoned piles become wet in the process, yet we are doing well in managing the situation. It did however cause us to see increases in partial load losses, where generating units are on load but we need to run them at lower loads,” he said.

Due to that, Eskom has recorded total unplanned plant unavailability of about 17 000Megawatts (MW), hence the implementation of Stage 3 loadshedding during break times and escalation towards Stage 4 load shedding over the evening peak from 4pm until 5am.

“We have had a number of units that have returned to service and we are still planning to return another Duvha Power Station in Mpumalanga today, which has been out for a considerable time due to a forced outage as well as Lethabo 4 Power Station in the Free State, which was also out due to an outage.

“This will give some relief. The situation is such that we have been dispatching diesel a lot during this past week and equally using our pump storage, although the pump storage is looking healthier than what we have seen in the past,” Conradie said.


Eskom has indicated that it needs to rebuild its reserves and recover some of coal stock levels after heavy rains.

“With that in mind, we will therefore be forced to apply Stage 3 and Stage 4 load shedding into this weekend and currently projected for Monday, where we see normally a marked increase in demand as we approach the new work week,” he said.

In terms of the diesel reserves, the power utility has adequate offsite storage and offsite diesel available.

“Our onsite levels of diesel is quite low so we need to utilise the time over the weekend to transfer diesel from the offsite storage to the onsite storage in order to be well set up for the coming week.

“In terms of the longer term planning, we are still running with a significant number of units at risk. Currently we have about 4 700 MW of plant running with risk, meaning they can at any stage let us down and that’s unfortunately the levels of unreliability and unreadability that we are sitting with,” Conradie said.

Eskom foresees a unit returning on Saturday, a further two units on Sunday and a further four to pick up for Monday’s further demand.

“In the coming weeks and until March, there are a number of units that need to return from planned and forced outages so we aim to return seven generating units of different sizes over the next couple of weeks and into March.”

“We are still very much in the outage season, so a lot of work will be done on units and this will continue right through March,” he said.

Eskom will slightly increase plant maintenance in the latter part of March. This will also ensure Eskom has the machines in the best conditions as the country approaches the winter months.

“In terms of the system, we are not where we want to be yet in terms of getting our total unavailability down, the 17 000 MW is too high.”

Source: South African Government News Agency

Crime statistics record a spike in murder

A total of 7555 people were killed in South Africa between October and December 2022, said Police Minister Bheki Cele.

The 10% increase was on Friday released by the Minister while publishing the 2022/23 third quarter crime statistics. The period is between October and December.

He said: “Out of the 7 555 people murdered in the three months of reporting, 3 144 people were killed with a firearm, 2 498 people were killed with other weapons such as knifes, sharp and blunt instruments, bricks and in many cases bare hands.”

He said this was a clear indicator that “a broader conversation must be had about what is at the heart of violent crime in the country”.

While gun violence is problematic and poses a serious threat to lives and livelihoods, an analysis of current and previous statistics, he said, illustrates that firearms were only part of a bigger problem.

“At the core of the matter, is human behaviour. We have to be honest as South Africans about the causes of violence and address them.”

He attributed high unemployment rates and poverty levels, mushrooming informal settlements with little to no services and other socio economic ills breeding criminality as leading contributors.

Other attributors included the high number of undocumented foreign nationals that were hard to trace after the commission of a crime.

“The violence that is stalking communities is translated to increased number of assaults, which escalate to attempted murders and in some cases murder.

“The reality is assaults are feeders of domestic violence and other violent crimes,” he said.

The Minister called for an “intense community centered” and intelligence led-solution to fully address the proliferation of firearms.

“Someone somewhere, somehow, knows something.

Police are also on the pulse in removing illegal weapons off our streets,” he said.

In the past twelve months alone, police had permanently removed and destroyed 65 519 firearms.

Minister Cele said the South African Police Service (SAPS) would continue to intensify operations to detect and remove illegal firearms and ammunition, whilst legislation intervention through the Amendment to the Firearms Control Act, to address the availability of guns from communities, was underway.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Police arrest suspect with 15 suspected stolen goats

POLOKWANE – The concerted efforts by the members of Sekhukhune District to fight the theft of stock in the area yielded positive results with the recovery of 15 goats, arrest of one suspect and confiscation of one motor vehicle, a machine utilised to tatoo livestock as well as an animal certificate.

This after a police Captain attached to Sekhukhune District came across a suspicious bakkie loaded with goats, while travelling on the R579 towards Tafelkop in Motetema policing precinct yesterday, Thursday 16 February 2023 at about 05:00.

The police member tactically stopped the vehicle while he called for backup from Motetema police. When police searched the vehicle, they discovered 15 stolen goats and the suspect was arrested on the spot.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the goats were stolen in Zebediela outside Lebowakgomo.

The Provincial Commissioner of police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has commended the police officers for their vigilance and acting swiftly in arresting the suspect.

The suspect will appear in the Groblersdal Magistrate’s Court on Monday 21 February 2023.

Police investigations continue.

Source: South African Police Service

Police in Mamelodi arrest an aunt on a charge of perjury who allegedly forced her niece to open a false rape case

PARKTOWN – The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Gauteng views opening of false cases in a serious light as it has an impact on state resources which should be directed to real emergencies.

Members of Mamelodi Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit arrested a 57-year-old woman in Mamelodi West on Thursday, 16 February 2023 for perjury.

According to a preliminary report the woman allegedly forced her 11-year-old niece to open a false rape against her stepfather in 2021. The stepfather was then arrested and appeared before court.

However, further investigation revealed that the niece was influenced by her aunt to falsely accuse her stepfather of raping her.

Investigation concluded and the aunt was subsequently arrested yesterday and expected to appear before the Mamelodi Magistrates’ Court soon.

Community members are urged to refrain from opening false cases at police stations. Perjury is a criminal offence which is punishable by law.

Source: South African Police Service

Five business robbers nabbed in KwaDukuza

DURBAN – On Thursday, 16 February 2023 at 11:20, four men entered a clothing shop on King Shaka Street in KwaDukuza and held the owner and staff at gunpoint.

The suspects allegedly took cash from the tills and a struggle ensued between the suspects and the owner. The owner and his son were shot and injured. KwaDukuza police were immediately summoned to the scene and they swiftly responded. A home-made revolver with two rounds of ammunition was found outside the business premises. Two suspects were arrested near the crime scene while the other three were arrested as they were fleeing in their getaway vehicle.

One of the suspects was found in possession of a pistol with eight rounds of ammunition. The suspects aged between 26 and 45 are expected to appear before the KwaDukuza Magistrates Court on Monday, 20 February 2023 on charges of business robbery, attempted murder as well as unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Source: South African Police Service