Eskom has announced that load shedding will start today (Tuesday, 26 October 2021) from 09:00 and continue until 05:00 on Saturday morning (30 October, 2021).
This comes after recent bouts of load shedding left South Africa in the dark intermittently in the past few weeks.
The public enterprise attributed the current bout of load shedding to a lack of generation capacity. While generation units at the Kusile, Matimba and Arnot stations have been restored, other generation units have taken strain, resulting in load shedding.
Eskom expects to return Koeberg’s tripped unit 1 to service during the weekend, and five other units through the course of the week. “However, there are a number of generation units running at risk of failure that cannot be attended to at the moment due to the current capacity constraints.
“Eskom would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the implementation of load shedding, and requests the public to reduce the usage of electricity in order to help us through the constraints,” the electricity provider said in a statement.
Optimistic outlook for stone fruit volumes
Following an unexpected, but welcome, increase in stone fruit production during the previous season, the plum industry in particular again anticipates export numbers comparable to the 2021/22 season. After the previous drought years, which altered reference points and preceded the significant surge of the 2020/21 season, normalcy has returned.
“It’s still early days as many cultivars are in bloom now (mid-October) but at this stage, the industry is expecting fruit packed for the export market to range between 15 and 16.5 million cartons (5.25kg equivalents),” the organisation Hortgro said in a statement.
“This relates to the same crop as last year with an 8% increase on the upper end, depending on how the season plays out. Stone fruit growers experienced a good winter and a very mild to cool spring thus far. The potential increase is primarily driven by new orchards coming into production. Growers have been sensitised to proper thinning practices to ensure good fruit size, as the market for smaller fruit is limited.”
Exports of nectarine are predicted to increase by 9% to 7.1 million cartons (2.5kg equivalents). There are a lot of new nectarine orchards, similar to plum orchards, leading in continuous export volume growth.
Peach volumes are predicted to remain at 2.45 million cartons (2.5kg equivalents). The total area cultivated in dessert peach orchards has decreased in recent years.
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