“Eskom refutes these claims and would like to assure South Africans that there are measures in place to avoid the collapse of the power system. Load shedding is one of these mechanisms,” it said
The country went into panic mode last week ahead of winter as the National Rationalised Specifications Association finalises the new national rationalised specifications document – NRS048-9 Revision 2 – which proposes load shedding schedules of up to Stage 16 following Eskom’s application.
With many households already spooked by declining salaries and high debt amid a cost of living crisis characterised by whopping food prices and facing load shedding of up to 11 hours and more under Stage 6, South Africans are panicked by what higher levels on load shedding means.
This as many energy experts say South Africa in reality is in Stage 10 load shedding already.
SA Inc CEOs are increasingly vocal on how government has not done enough in the face of the power crisis, which has shaved off billions of rand in companies’ turnovers and will lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs being shed while the economy is decimated.
However, Eskom said the risk of a national blackout, while inherent to the operation of a large power system, had an extremely low likelihood of materialising given the implementation of a number of control measures, including load shedding.
The power utility said: “The grid is by no means at a higher or imminent risk of a collapse and it would take an unforeseen and sudden sequence of events that results in a cascading collapse of the transmission or generation system, leading to a complete loss of supply across the country.
“Eskom has robust contingency plans in place to deal with such an eventuality,” it said in a statement.
At the Enlit Africa conference on Tuesday, Eskom said interim CEO Calib Cassim had reiterated that there were several controls in place and that he did not lose sleep over the issue.
“This is due to the confidence in the staff at the oystem Operator who have the competence to manage the tight system for the past three years,” Cassim said.
Eskom said it continued to drive generation recovery initiatives, which were aimed at preventing the current performance from deteriorating in the short term, and improving the overall performance of the generation fleet in the long term.
“A state of system media briefing is scheduled this Thursday to give an update of the power system and share the outlook for winter, including contingency plans to avoid higher stages of load shedding,” it said.