South Africa's state power utility Eskom may have to implement "Stage 8" level of power cuts this winter if its interventions are not effective, said Group Executive for Transmission Segomoco Scheppers in a briefing on Thursday.
The "Stage 8" power cuts would require up to 8,000 megawatts to be shed from the national grid, and could mean even longer hours without electricity.
Eskom has not yet gone beyond "Stage 6" power cuts, but many households and businesses are already facing electricity outages of more than 10 hours a day as South Africa faces its worst power crisis on record.
"This is going to be a very difficult winter," Scheppers said. He sought to ease fears of a national blackout, saying the risk was "very low".
Meanwhile, Eskom chairperson Mpho Makwana has weighed in on the debate that has ensued following the publication of Andre de Ruyter’s book, saying the former Group CEO broke “trust” that had been put in him.
De Ruyter shocked South Africa over the weekend by publishing a 237-page “tell-all” book titled “Truth to Power: My Three Years Inside Eskom” detailing an array of allegations of systematic and industrial-scale corruption at Eskom.
During Eskom’s State of the System briefing this morning, Makwana said the Eskom board had taken note of what de Ruyter said in his book, adding that the power utility will be taking action against him.
“It must be noted and placed on record that trust was broken by him making those public statements and the publication of the book, and this trust was broken in the most repulsive manner possible,” Makwana said.
Reuters, additional reporting by Siphelele Dludla