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South Africa: Eskom Implements Stage 6 Power Cuts As Generating Units Fail – South African News Briefs – February 20, 2023

 Update as at 16h30 SAST

Eskom Implements Stage 6 Load Shedding Until Further Notice

Power utility Eskom has implemented Stage 6 rotational power cuts until further notice after eight generating units broke down on Sunday, reports News24. The struggling utility says that this is due to unit breakdowns at the Arnot, Hendrina, Lethabo, and Majuba power stations, as well as two units at Camden. Stage 4 and Stage 6  load shedding  were implemented at the weekend. Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said that six units had suffered breakdowns and were taken offline for repairs. “Further, two generating units at the Lethabo power station were shut down due to coal constraints as the new Vaal mine that is supplying the station has been unable to deliver the expected amount of coal during the past week because of the heavy rains.”

Floods Continue to Wreak Havoc Across the Country

Heavy rains and flooding continue to wreak havoc across the country. Six people were swept away during heavy rains that left a trail of damage in Coffee Bay, Eastern Cape. The bodies of two children have been recovered and at least four other people are still missing. Residents of the Wild Coast town are some of the worst affected by flooding across large parts of the province, reports eNCAMeanwhile, two floodgates have been opened at the Vaal Dam, which could possibly lead to more flooding, adds News24. This brings the total to 12 floodgates that have been opened. The Department of Water and Sanitation warned that high water levels and possible flooding are anticipated at the town of Douglas in the Northern Cape, at the confluence of the Vaal and Orange Rivers, due to releases from the Vanderkloof and Bloemhof Dams, and residents have been urged to be alert and may need to evacuate where necessary. The government declared a National State of Disaster to enable an ‘intensive, coordinated response’ to the floods that have devastated parts of seven of South Africa’s nine provinces.