As we fellow South Africans eagerly await the State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday night, the question on everyone’s lips is: “Will load shedding be suspended for Sona this year?”
IOL asked power utility Eskom on whether or not we can expect load shedding this Sona. However, Eskom left us in the dark, with an answer that wasn’t exactly a ‘yes’ nor ‘no’.
“Load shedding or suspension thereof is not implemented as a selective response but as a response to protect the Grid. The situation is monitored continuously and load shedding adjusted accordingly,” Eskom responded mysteriously.
Eskom continued: “In as much as our plans are on a positive trajectory, we, however, depend on how the total system performs both on demand and supply side.”
The power utility said it will communicate to the members of the public, “should the need arise”.
On Wednesday, load shedding was reduced to Stage 1 after Eskom reported "sufficient emergency reserves and a slight increase in available generation capacity“.
After 2pm on Wednesday, Eskom reported that Stage 2 load shedding is implemented "until further notice“.
Previous suspensions of load shedding during Sona
We have enjoyed a suspension of load shedding during Sona in previous years, the most recent being last year’s Sona.
Load shedding is also one of the topics that President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to tackle during his address.
In last year’s Sona, Ramaphosa vowed to fix load shedding with an action plan designed to address the energy crisis.
A month after the address in March, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa was appointed Minister of Electricity in the Presidency.
Yet, South Africans have endured a record-breaking 332 days of load shedding in 2023, according to data compiled by EskomSePush and The Outlier.