The South African Cabinet in government are confident that the high stages of load shedding would soon be reduced as power utility Eskom pushes through its planned maintenance.
Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said Cabinet had received an extensive briefing from Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.
"Cabinet is assured that the increases in the stages of load shedding are temporary because there are clear plans for when additional capacity will come through, including the return to service at Kusile one to four and the re-energising of Kusile five," Ntshavheni said.
"We are confident as Cabinet that we are on top of matters in electricity," she added.
While Cabinet has maintained that the increased stages of load shedding was due to planned maintenance, Eskom announced that Stage 6 load shedding would be implemented indefinitely owing to delays in the return to service of a generating unit at the Kendal, Matla, and Matimba power stations.
Additionally, on Wednesday, the power utility warned that South Africa could face Stage 7 or 8 load shedding if electricity usage was not reduced and appealed to all members of the public to reduce the electricity demand between 5pm and 9pm, by switching off non-essential appliances, mainly geysers, swimming pool pumps, and electric heaters, due to the cold weather.
"The implementation of stage 6 load shedding in the last week was a regress from the trends that prevailed in the previous weeks of lower stages of load shedding.
"Cabinet was assured that the current implementation of increased stages of load shedding is a short-term phase as Eskom prepares for more sustained and lessened stages of load shedding in the not-so-distant future," Ntshavheni reported in a Cabinet feedback briefing on Thursday.
Cabinet was updated on the current planned maintenance programme that is currently being implemented by Eskom to ensure the sustainability of Eskom’s plant.
Cabinet said that the concerted implementation of the planned fleet maintenance programme had resulted in increased stages of load shedding in recent days.
Ramokgopa is expected to continue to update the nation over the weekend on the progress being made to address the current electricity challenges and the steps being taken to ultimately end load shedding.