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Eskom Powers Back - Somewhat

FILE: In this photo taken on February 16, 2022 A woman uses a rechargeable LED lantern to illuminate a shoe rack while shopping at the Sinnoville Centre after its electricity supply was cut off.

South Africa's Eskom will reduce planned power cuts this week after sufficient progress was made in replenishing emergency generation reserves, the utility said on Sunday.

Having implemented cuts of up to 4,000 megawatts (MW) from Saturday morning until 0500 on Monday, Eskom said it will reduce these to Stage 3 cuts of up to 3,000 MW until 0500 on Tuesday. Thereafter Stage 2 will be implemented until Friday night.

Stage 2 cuts mean that homes and businesses without their own generators will not have power for two to four hours a day.

"Sufficient progress has been made in recovering the emergency generation reserves, and it is anticipated that the dam levels at the pumped storage schemes will be fully replenished by tomorrow morning," the utility said in a statement.

Eskom added that two generation units returned to service over the weekend, with more units anticipated to return to service, helping to ease the capacity constraints.

Eskom's aging power stations run mostly on coal and are highly prone to faults resulting in frequent outages which constrain economic growth. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's government has tried to reform Eskom to make it more efficient, but progress has been slow.