March 18, 2019 / 6:26 AM / 3 months ago

South Africa's Eskom to continue rolling blackouts this week

JOHANNESBURG, March 18 (Reuters) - Eskom will continue with planned power cuts this week, amid capacity shortages, after the South African state utility stepped up rolling blackouts on Saturday following a cyclone that affected electricity imports from neighbouring Mozambique.

Eskom, which generates nearly around 90 percent of the power for Africa’s most industrialised economy, said late Sunday it would continue rolling blackouts on Monday and Tuesday at a level which calls for 4,000 megawatts to be cut from the national grid on a rotational basis.

The utility, which is struggling to emerge from a severe financial crisis and suffered a series of unplanned breakdowns, began rolling blackouts last week because of a shortage of generating capacity.

The situation worsened on Saturday after it lost 900 megawatts of electricity imports from Mozambique, which is cleaning up after a powerful cyclone knocked out communications and electricity pylons last week.

Maintenance teams were working to return its generation units to the electricity system, Eskom said.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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